CITY OF ILAGAN, Philippines- A popular speculation that the Isabela province will be split into two provincial territories has been bolstered by a bill filed in the 17th Congress on December 14 last year.
This developed as six members of the House of Representatives authored House Bill 4962 entitled “An act reapportioning the current four (4) legislative districts of the province of Isabela to six (6) legislative districts.”
The bill was co-authored by Rep. Rodolfo T. Albano III (District I), Rep. Ana Cristina S. Go (District II), Rep. Napoleon S. Dy (District III), Rep. Maria Lourdes Aggabao (District IV), and party-list representatives Jose T. Panganiban of ANAC-IP and Arnel U. Ty of LPGMA.
“The historical alliance between the two local political clans, the Dy’s and the Albano’s, needs a breathing space as siblings and the younger generation are itching to get elected,” a political observer, who asked to speak on condition of anonymity, told Forum.
“On a bigger picture, the Dy’s need a province of their own in the same way the Albano’s do, and that is forthcoming,” the source said.
The Dy-Albano tandem unseated popular Bombo Radyo broadcaster turned politician Grace Padaca, who served as Isabela governor from June 30, 2004 to June 30, 2010.
Padaca, a former stalwart of the Liberal Party who ran as independent in 2016 was outvoted by present Isabela governor Faustino G. Dy III by more than 300,000 votes.
“The numbers show how powerful the Dy-Albano alliance has become, but now that Padaca is history, they will need to reapportion the territory rather than fight each other in future elections,” the source added.
In the last 2016 elections in Cauayan City, which belongs to the 3rd district, incumbent mayor Bernard Faustino Dy defeated his own uncle, Victor Dy, by a margin close to 10,000 votes.
“The Cauayan City experience has taught rising political aspirants that there is a way to defeat the Dy’s in their own turf,” says local observer Mike Isidro, a native of Cauayan City.
Politicians gunning for a seat in the house of representatives under the proposed re-districting scheme started to visit towns and barangays ‘not in their usual turfs’.
“Barangay elections is in the offing, and they need to plant their allies,” the source said.
The bill is currently pending with the Committee on Local Government since January 16, 2017. Abe Almirol/Northernforum.net