Legazpi City—Ako Bicol Partylist Rep. Alfredo Garbin filed his certificate of candidacy for mayoralty post in Legazpi on Sunday.

         “Today October 3 on the day of my birthday I filed my COC as Mayor of Legazpi. The city which I served in 2004-2010 as City Councilor. My almost nine years stint in congress as Representative of Ako Bicol Partylist has given me the opportunity to serve not only our beloved Legazpeños but the entire Bicolanos,” Garbin said, shortly after filing his COC.

Garbin will be racing against Geraldine Rosal, wife of incumbent Mayor Noel Rosal.  

“I together with the APG Team humbly heed the clamor of my fellow Legazpeños to bring a new kind of Leadership in Legazpi that is inclusive, that all groups in our society will be given the opportunity to improve and maintain their well-being. I will be your servant leader who will serve the Legazpeños with great honor,” the lawmaker said.

Garbin candidacy for mayoralty race decoded the old alliance of old guards in Albay politics.

         Due to this, the mayoralty race in Legazpi City is expected to be the toughest political battle in the history after Albay Gov. Al Francis Bichara and the Ako Bicol partylist formed part a strong alliance dumping their old friend incumbent Mayor Noel Rasal.

         Garbin is the godson of Rosal. Garbin along with his running mate Alan Ranola, former councilor of Legazpi and ally of Mayor Noel Rosal and the councilor wannabes filed their COCs before the Commission on Elections on Sunday shortly after attending a mass at Albay Cathedral officiated by Bishop Joel Baylon.

         The group asked the blessing of Bishop Baylon before heading to Comelec Legazpi. Garbin candidacy was backed up by Gov. Al Francis Bichara; Ako Bicol founder Rep. Elizaldy S. Co.

         Mayor Noel Rosal, concurrent chairman of the Regional Development Council in Bicol whose term of office will end on June 30, 2022 will be fielding his wife, Geraldine.

         Geraldine, former mayor of Legazpi will be racing against their godson and former political ally. Rosal and Garbin’s battle in Legazpi is considered to be as David and Goliath.  

Aside from Bichara and Co other big names in local politics reportedly coalesced with the Bichara and Co such as the family of the late former Rep. Carlos “Papay” Imperial and late Legazpi City Mayor Imelda Roces. 

The Bichara, Rosal, Co and Garbin were friends and political allies for many years before parting ways due to political differences. Due to this a neck-to-neck mayoral fight is expected in May polls 2022 between the two political rivals for mayoral post.

Ako Bicol partylist lawmaker Alfredo Garbin has strong political machinery through Rep. Elizaldy S. Co and Bichara who are aiming to trample Rosal.

This is the second mayoral contest in Legazpi City wherein two powerful personalities bind together to topple the Rosal administration.

Garbin’s councilors’ wannabes are also former political allies of the Rosals who held various local position in the past. The ten councilor hopefuls were re-electionist councilor Alex Sy; Jesus “James” Calisin, Ralph Andes; Greg Lipa; Sunshine Imperial; Atty Butch Lucilla; Nicasio Barrios; Jordan Alfajaro, Luis Gutierrez and Joseph Armogilla.

Calisin, as the former vice governor of Albay, Andes served as former city councilor and board member of the 2nd district of Albay, Allan Ranola was former city councilor and PCL of Albay including re-electionist Alex Sy.    

Rosal began his political career as barangay captain of Gogon from 1989-1995. He served as city councilor in 1995-2011.

He was first elected mayor in 2001 and served until 2010. His wife, Geraldine was then elected as mayor, serving from 2010 until 2013, while he was the city administrator.

After his wife finished her term, he was again elected as mayor in 2013, 2016 and now on his last term. (By:Raneza Sabina Barcebal)

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