3 Garins slug it out for 1st Dist.’s House seat

FIRST IN HISTORY: Three members of the influential Garin family are facing off in the congressional race in the 1st District of Iloilo – Oscar “Oca” Garin Sr. and son Oscar “Richard” Garin Jr., and the younger Garin’s wife, former Health secretary Janette Garin.

ILOILO – On the last day of the five-day period for the filing of certificates of candidacy (COC) for the 2019 midterm elections, the Garin family pulled a surprise. Three family members are running for congressman in the 1st District.

Yesterday, Mayor Oscar Garin of Guimbal and daughter-in-law Janette – former Health secretary – filed their respective COCs for congressman.

Just this Oct. 11, incumbent Cong. Richard Garin, the mayor’s son and husband of Janette, filed his COC seeking reelection.

“I believe this is the first time sa akon pag-serve as provincial election supervisor,” said a bemused Atty. Elizabeth Doronila at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) provincial office in La Paz, Iloilo City.

Janette Garin showed up at the Comelec around 4:30 p.m. and filed her COC. She was running under the Nacionalista Party (NP).

Around 4:52 p.m., Mayor Garin filed his. He was running as an independent candidate.

The father-in-law appeared surprised to see his daughter-in-law.

Mayor Garin tried to explain the unique situation to the press this way: “We’re fine-tuning the situation. Nothing is very definite…just ample preparation for any eventuality.”

Asked what he meant by “fine-tuning”, Mayor Garin further explained: “Bali gina-evaluate pa namon each and every angle, each and every level. We have yet to come up with a definite grasp of the situation. So, amo ina, may reserve lang so that we can still be flexible.”

Mayor Garin admitted their family had not discussed yesterday’s situation.

“Sugilanon kami (Janette) sa gwa (Comelec office). Siling ko ma-file ka? Ma-file man ako,” said Mayor Garin.

He also said there would be more political developments in the days to come.

“Some of them unexpected. Indi pa kita makasiguro gid. So, mas may ligwa ka, mas okay,” said the Garin patriarch.

He assured Garin supporters in the 1st District their family was intact, although not “100 percent.”

“Bisan mag-asawa gani nagabulagay, ayhan pa ining politika nga waay kamo nagapakasal sini,” said Mayor Garin.

Retired Philippine National Police general Gerardo Flores is also running for congressman of the 1st District as an independent candidate. He filed his COC on Tuesday.

“The people of the 1st District must be given choices,” said Flores.

So who is running for mayor of Guimbal?

Mayor Garin said he already has a candidate but declined to give names./PN


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