THERE will be two new congressional candidates for the first and second congressional districts of Tarlac province come next year’s election as two young turks have substituted for incumbent representatives Carlos “Charlie” Cojuangco and Victor “VY” Yap for varied reasons.
The two, Jaime Cojuangco, the son of Charlie and Christian Tell Yap, nephew of Victor and eldest child of Governor Susan Yap have filed their respective Certificate of Candidacies [CoCs] on the last day of substitution and withdrawal of candidates last November 15 at the Provincial Commission on Elections [Comelec] office.
Both Jaime and Christian are stalwarts of the National Peoples Coalition [NPC].
Christian Subs for his Uncle Vic
In a surprise move, Christian, the incumbent Mayor of Victoria town substituted for his uncle, Congressman Victor Yap prompting speculations of a major shakeup in the province’s political landscape.
Christian said that he was surprised by the substitution but is ready to face any challenges that lies ahead.
“Tayo ay talagang nagagalak, nabigyan tayo ng pagkakataon na ituloy yung pagseserbisyo. Ngayon lumawak yung aking area of responsibility di na Victoria kundi buong second district so ang tiwala na talagang magta-trabaho tayo para diretso pa rin ang magagawa nating trabaho para sa second district,” he said.
In his CoC filing, he was accompanied by Cong. Yap, Gov. Yap, Vice Governor Carlito “Casada” David, Board Members Antonio Cervantes Jr., Joy Gilbert Lamorena, Danilo Asiaten, Romeo Evangelista Jr. and Jessie Aquino, and Christian’s wife, Melissa Yeung-Yap.
The 36-year old Christian was elected mayor of Victoria town in 2019 and has filed his CoC for re-election on October 3 while Cong. Yap was supposed to seek his third and last term as House Representative.
Christian’s Vice Mayor, Rex Villa Agustin, has replaced him as the mayoralty candidate with incumbent Victoria Councilor Tani Guiam as his running-mate.
Health and Personal Reasons
Cong. Yap, 55, said his reason for withdrawing is personal and for health reasons.
He cited that he is suffering from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease [COPD], a disease that causes airflow blockage and breathing-related problems.
“This is not a major cause of concern but I need to take a breather from politics so that I can be fully healed…I have no cancer or any other life-threatening diseases,” he pointed-out.
He likewise said that after more than two straight decades in politics, he wants to be with his children.
“They are already growing up. My eldest daughter is about to get married and I need to be with them. Nagtatampo na sila,” Cong. Yap said.
He likewise said that his temporary absence in politics will not stop him from rendering public service to the people of Tarlac.
“Nandito parin naman ako upang mag-laan ng aking serbisyo publiko. ‘Di mawawala yun,” Cong. Yap said.
Jaime Replaces Dad Charlie
Twenty-five year-old Jaime Cojuangco substituted for his father, incumbent first district Representative Charlie who suffered aneurysm on October 26.
His father will take a health break after suffering from brain aneurysm while racing at the Clark International Speedway in Angeles City, Pampanga. Charlie was initially brought to Medical City in Clark and later transferred to St. Luke’s Quezon City where he underwent a seven-hour brain surgery. He has since been transferred to St. Luke’s Global City where he is currently in stable condition and recovering.
The elder Cojuangco just got married to China Jocson at the San Sebastian Tarlac Cathedral on October 10. The couple had a civil wedding in Paniqui, Tarlac last April.
The 58-year old Cojuangco also filed his certificate of candidacy [CoC] for his third and final term as congressman last October 6.
Jaime was accompanied by his grandmother Soledad “Gretchen” Oppen-Cojuangco, sister Claudia, Gov. Yap, Vice Governor David, board members, mayors, relatives and friends during his filling of CoC.
In a statement, Jaime thanked all those who came to support his filing of CoC and made mention of the status of his father’s condition.
“Thank you for supporting me, thank you for coming today…I just wanted to say that I will be continuing the projects of my father and I thank you again for giving us your prayers and hoping [for my father’s] very speedy recovery,” Jaime said adding that the status of his father’s health is improving.
“Actually, my father’s vital signs are stable and we have very good hope for him. Our number one priority is his recovery and I would like to say thank you again for coming to support me and my family,” he further stated.
Arvin F. M. Cabalu/PIO