SORSOGON CITY, April 12 — The political landscape in Sorsogon province is making an “artista” makeover. This after Heart Evangelista effected her formal transfer of permanent residence here with the local Commission on Elections office last Tuesday. Evangelista, whose real name is Love Mary Ongpauco, registered as her new permanent and official address the family residence of the Escuderos in Barangay Buhatan in this city.
The transfer came two months after she became Mrs. Francis “Chiz” Escudero, the senator’s second wife, in a lavish display of wealth and grand wedding that money can buy, at the exclusive Balesin island resort club off Quezon province last February 15. The transfer of registration fueled speculation that the GMA television artist is being shooed in by the Escudero clan for an elective position in the province come May 2016 general elections. Political observers point out that the likely elective post she may run is the mayoralty seat of Sorsogon City, possibly against the current mayor Sally Lee.
The Escuderos of Sorsogon are staunchly traditional politicians (trapos) having established a political dynasty ruling the province for decades already. The late father of Senator “Chiz” Escudero, Salvador Escudero III first served as representative to the Batasan Pambansa from 1984 to 1986, then as congressman of the first district of Sorsogon from 1987-1998 and 2010-2013. His mother is the current (2013-2016) congresswoman representing the district vacated by his father.
Senator Escudero’s grandfather, Salvador Escudero, Jr. (II) was a former mayor of Casiguran and provincial board member. Chiz’s great grandfather, Salvador Escudero Sr. (I) was a councilor, then Casiguran mayor, then provincial board member, then governor of the province.
The current elected vice-governor of the province is Antonio “Kruni” Escudero, Salvador’s brother. He is now the acing governor with the suspension of governor Raul Lee, the husband of mayor Lee. Antonio’s son, the most senior member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan is now the acting vice-governor of Sorsogon.
The first Escudero recorded to have ventured in politics was Manuel Escudero, Sorsogon’s representative in the 4th Philippine Legislature in 1916–1919. Next year will mark a century with the Escudero clan in the Sorsogon traditional political landscape.