Women political power emerges in Iloilo

WOMEN political leaders are starting to dominate and create noise at the political arena in Iloilo with the election of several women leaders in key positions in the legislative and executive positions during the May 9 elections.

For the first time, a woman was elected as vice governor and presiding officer of the Provincial Board in the province of Iloilo. Mayor Christine Garin (NUP), of the municipality of Guimbal, southern Iloilo was elected vice governor to tandem with re-elected Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. (LP).

She is the youngest daughter of newly elected Mayor Oscar Garin of Guimbal and Mayor Ninfa Garin of San Joaquin in southern Iloilo. She defeated a formidable political opponent for the position in the person of former Representative Niel “Junjun” Tupas (LP).

Also elected for the first time as Iloilo board members were Renee Valencia (LP) of the first district, and former New Lucena mayor Liecel Mondejar-Seville (UNA) of the second district. Jeneda Salcedo-Orendain (LP) of the fifth district is back as a board member.

In Iloilo City, re-elected City Councilors Lady Julie Grace Baronda (LP) and Liezl Zulueta-Salazar (LP) were joined by first time councilor-elect Candice Alumisin-Tupas to form the women power trio at the City Council.

In the province of Iloilo, seven out of 43 municipalities have women winners to lead their respective town as local chief executives.

Newly elected Mayor Lee Ann Debuque of the municipality of Anilao is only 22 years old while cousin Braedon John Biron, also 22 years old, was elected mayor of the municipality of Barotac Nuevo.

Debuque is the daughter of former mayor Ma. Teresa Debuque who was also elected municipal vice mayor while the young Biron is the son newly elected Representative Ferjenel Biron of the fourth district of Iloilo.

The other women elected mayors of the province were Ligaya Apura of Lemery town, Carina Flores of Oton, Ma. Mediatrix Fernandez of San Enrique, Ninfa Garin of San Joaquin, Marina Gorriceta of an Miguel and Ermelita Salcedo of Sara. (LCP)