Are the Guicos Pangasinan’s new political kingpin?

By May 15, 2022Inside News

MOVE over Espinos. The Guicos are on their way to install themselves as the new political kingpins in Pangasinan.

This after Fifth District Rep. Ramon “Mon-mon” Guico III was elected Pangasinan’s new governor upsetting the bid of incumbent Gov. Amado “Pogi” Espino III, who ruled the province since 2017.

Pogi’s younger brother Jumel, Second District congressman, also lost in his bid for a second term of office to former Fifth District Rep. Mark Cojuangco.

The only Espino survivor in this election is the sibling’s mother, incumbent Bugallon Mayor Priscilla Espino who was reelected for a second term. The Espinos’ roots are in Bautista but they made Bugallon as their new home.

Their patriarch, former Governor and former Fifth District Rep. Amado Espino Jr. organized the Abante Pangasinan Ilokano (API) regional political party and party list that likely won and is its first nominee.

Meanwhile, Binalonan Mayor Ramon Guico Jr. was proclaimed as Fifth District Representative, succeeding his son Mon-mon.

Another Guico son, Ramon Ronald, is the newly elected mayor of Binalonan, replacing his father.

It was Monmon, then a three-term mayor of Binalonan, who scored a stunning upset over  the Espino patriarch in 2019 for the Fifth District post. He earned the moniker “giant slayer” for defeating the three-term governor.

The Guicos, since the days of Ramon Guico Sr., a former guerilla fighter of World War III, have long been in control of Binalonan ever since. Even after the EDSA revolution, Ramon Sr, was not replaced as mayor of Binalonan.

After the late Ramon Sr. passed the baton to his junior, the latter ran for vice governor in tandem with then Vice Governor Victor Agbayani. He lost to Malasiqui Mayor Oscar Lambino while Agabayani beat former Sen. Letty Ramos Shahani.

However, in the following election, Ramon Jr, bounced back as mayor of Binalonan again and continued till it was Monmon’s term.

On the other hand, Pogi became mayor of Bautista for three terms. Then he sought to be a barangay captain to become the president of the Liga ng mga Barangay provincial federation.

It was his stepping stone to vie for the gubernatorial post that was going to be vacated by his father. He ran in 2017 and won against then Fifth District Rep. Mark Cojuangco.

When Pogi ran for reelection in 2019, he beat former Alaminos City Mayor Art Celeste by some 100,000 votes.

With the defeat of the two Espino brothers in this election, political observers wonder if the end of the Espino political dynasty has come, and the Guicos are Pangasinan’s next political kingpin. (Leonardo Micua)

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