CABANATUAN City -- It will be a battle of “popularity versus performance” when celebrity-actor Rommel Padilla challenges re-electionist Congresswoman Estrellita “Ging” Suansing in a two-cornered fight in Nueva Ecija’s first district congressional polls come May 2019.
Padilla, father of teen heartthrob Daniel Padilla, and currently a senior board member at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, is running as an independent while Suansing, the chairperson of the House ways and means committee, is seeking a third term under the administration’s PDP-Laban.
At the province’s second congressional district, it could be described as a “return bout” between two Violago in-laws except for the entry of an upcoming politician in a three-way fight for the May 2019 polls.
Joselito “Lito” Violago, an independent bet, will try to exact sweet revenge for his 2016 congressional debacle against sister-in-law, re-electionist Mikaela “Mikki” Salvador-Violago, who is vying for a second term under the National Unity Party.
Joselito is the elder brother of former three-term Rep. Joseph Gilbert Violago, husband of Mikki, who is a sister of re-electionist San Jose City Mayor Mario “Kokoy” Salvador.
The two Violago in-laws and political newcomer Abraham Mauyao, of the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino make up the three congressional bets for the second district.
For the province’s third district congressional contest, outgoing three-term Cabanatuan City Mayor Julius Cesar “Jay” Vergara, of PDP-Laban, will try to replace his wife, third district Rep. Rosanna “Ria” Vergara, who is leaving Congress to vie for the mayorship of Cabanatuan.
Vergara’s bid will be challenged by former Bongabon Mayor Luisito “Boy” Ronquillo, of the Umali’s Unang Sigaw Partido ng Pagbabago local party.
At the province’s fourth district, the congressional fight is a virtual “Goliath versus David” one-on-one contest as re-electionist Rep. Magnolia Rosa Antonino is pitted against political newbie Alexander Cumbe.
Antonino, daughter of three-term Rep. Rodolfo W. Antonino is vying for a third and final term under the National Unity Party while Cumbe will try his luck under the People’s Reform Party.