InterAksyon - Close fight seen in Quezon gubernatorial race

CATANAUAN, Quezon -- Officials in Quezon province expect the gubernatorial race in May to be a close fight between the incumbent, Jay-Jay Suarez, and Irvin Alcala, the challenger backed by the administration Liberal Party.

Alcala is a party-list congressman and son of Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala.

Suarez, of the National Unity Party (NUP) and son of Minority Leader Danilo Suarez, who represents the province’s third district, is seeking a second term.

This time, the LP bloc in the Quezon is going all out for Alcala, Representative Wilfredo Enverga of the province's first district said.

The two contenders’ fathers are known to be good friends who parted ways over politics.

In the 2010 elections, he said LP members backed Suarez for governor even if the part backed the late Governor Rafael Nantes, who died in a helicopter crash in May that year.

"Ngayon, mukhang malinaw na ang political affiliation (The political affailiations are clearer now). LP is straight Liberal, so I think it's going to be a very close fight," Enverga, who is seeking a third term in Congress.

He said the administration's concrete programs for the province should help boost Alcala's gubernatorial bid.

On Monday, President Benigno Aquino III led the sortie of the administration’s Team PNoy senatorial slate in this town, promising better services and legislation if his candidates are elected in May.

Among the candidates present were Senators Loren Legarda and Antonio Trillanes iv, Risa Hontiveros, Ramon Magsaysay Jr. and Juan Edgardo Angara.

The team will motor to Gumaca town for another rally during the day.