‘Amante vs Amante’ looms; Sibling rivalry stirs up Agusan Norte polls

By Ben Serrano

Agusan del Norte Gov. Maria Angelica Amante-Matba has publicly announced that she would run against her brother, Rep. Erlpe John Amante in the 2019 midterm elections.

Amante-Matba, regional chair of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), said she was ready in going head-to-head with her older brother.

“I will run whatever elective public office he will run, if he seeks re-election I will also run for congress. If he will run and file his certificate of candidacy (COC) for governor, I will also do so therefore seek re-election,” she said.

Rumors have it that the Agusan del Norte solon will file his COC on Oct. 17, the day his estranged wife Mrs. Judy Chin-Amante also plans to file her COC for mayor in Cabadbaran City.

Judy Chin, who run in 2016 lost to Rep. Amante’s common law wife, incumbent Cabadbaran Mayor Katrina Mortola.

A case to annul marriage of the two is still on-going waiting for final decision while the VAWC charges filed by Judy Chin against the lawmaker is still pending in court waiting for resolution.

Rumors also have it that Rep. Amante instead of seeking re-election or file his COC for governor will instead run for Cabadbaran Mayor while Mortola will run for either congressional  and gubernatorial post.

“If that happens, Gov. Angel will pursue her plans to seek re-election while allowing Mrs. Judy Chin Amante to run head-on for Cabadbaran City Mayor against her estrange husband. So it will be husband versus wife for Cabadbaran Mayor,” Roselyn Gangca Exaure, spokesperson for Gov. Amante-Matba said.

Exaure claimed only few town mayors of Agusan del Norte now politically allied or remained supporters of Rep. Amante as a number already joined the dominant political party of Gov. Amante-Matba.

Majority also of 36 Barangay captains of Cabadbaran are now allies of Matba and Mrs. Amante.

Meanwhile, Exaure claimed some of the municipal mayors, vice mayors and councilors who are allies of Gov. Amante-Matba already filed their respective COCs, some plans to file this week while others claimed they will file their COCs on same day Matba will file hers.

The Amante siblings have parted ways after Gov. Amante-Matba supported or sided with the estrange wife and three children of his brother.

The Amantes’,  from their late father and family patriarch former Executive Secretary Edelmiro Amante,  and their mother former Cabadbaran Mayor Rosario Malbas-Amante were all undefeated in Agusan del Norte politics for more than a decade now.

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