Representative Sergio Apostol of the 2nd Congressional District, Leyte. (Photo by inquirer.net)

Should Rep. Sergio Apostol step down in 2016?

Leyte News – Some quarters from Carigara and other towns feel so.

Local government officials, village heads, political clans, the religious and ordinary people from Carigara, Tabon-tabon, Barugo, Pastrana, Burauen, Dulag and Jaro Leyte are electrified by the prospect of a younger, people-friendly, and approachable neophyte who they feel should run for Representative of Leyte’s Second Congressional District in 2016.

An influential scion of the Cañega–Ong clan, one of Carigara’s oldest families, is reportedly being persuaded by various groups, including incumbent reform-minded mayors of the district, to seriously consider running for Congress next year.

This anticipated candidacy will put the Ong political organization in Carigara on a direct collision course with the moneyed and politically well-connected ‘Apostol dynasty’.

‘The entry of a fresh candidate to represent the Second District will give us a clear, dare I say, more meaningful direction’, Carigara Sangguniang Bayan member Dennis Garay told the Visayan Business Post adding that this is a welcome political development.

‘I understand that there are many remote communities in the district that are not pleased with the current set of things’, councilor Garay said.

Meanwhile, the 80 year old incumbent congressman Sergio Apostol, for now a member of the Liberal Party, is expected to run for re-election and also field one of his children in next year’s polls, a move pundits believe is intended to ‘ensure’ the reign of an Apostol in this economically challenged rural constituency.

The second district has been continuously controlled by the Apostol political clan for more than a decade now.

There are a number of suitable accomplished professionals in the Ong family, although neophyte Mayor Eduardo Cañega Ong, the modest local chief executive of vote–rich Carigara town, is popular for decisively defeating Apostol’s grandson and protégé in the 2013 local elections.

Leyte’s second district is composed of 14 municipalities: Capoocan, Carigara, Tunga, Barugo, Jaro, Pastrana, Dagami, Tabon-tabon, Burauen, La-paz, Julita, Dulag, MacArthur and Mayorga. It is considered one of the biggest congressional districts in Leyte in terms of land area.