‘INTERESTING FIGHT’: Biron sees exciting gubernatorial race with Defensors moving to PDP-Laban


REP. Ferj Biron (right) said he expects an interesting gubernatorial race with fellow congressman Arthur Defensor Jr. in 2019.

ILOILO 4th district Rep. Ferjenel Biron said the decision of Gov. Arthur Defensor Sr. and 3rd district Rep. Arthur Defensor Jr. to Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) would make the 2019 gubernatorial election “interesting.”

Biron and Rep. Defensor Jr. are expected to clash in 2019 as they both signified their interest to run for the top capitol post which will be vacated by the graduating Gov. Defensor Sr.

Gov. Defensor Sr. officially confirmed his departure from the Liberal Party on Aug 31, 2017 after talking to Senate President Koko Pimentel III (see sidebar story).

The governor admitted that one of his major considerations in joining the administration’s party is the possible candidacy of his son Rep. Defensor Jr. in 2019.

Biron said the governor’s transfer is already “beyond his control.”

“That is a political decision in pursuit of his own political plans,” he said in a text message to The Daily Guardian.

“Just like in any election, it will be an interesting fight,” he added.

Meanwhile, Rep. Defensor said he only learned of his father’s decision through a phone interview with the Capitol beat reporters.

But he said he respects his father’s decision and that he will also follow the governor’s lead.

“Kun amo na pronouncement’s niya maupod ako sa iya. Pero sugilanunon ko anay sya,” he said.

Rep. Defensor also did not deny his plan to run for the gubernatorial post.

“Yes, I am seriously considering nga madalagan ako. Chances are madalagan ako,” he said.

He also agreed that his transfer to PDP-Laban would boost his candidacy and would benefit the entire province.

“May bentaha diri sa probinsya kun ang imo kandidatora ara sa idalom sang partido sang administration. Maayo man sa programa sang probinsya kun kaalyado ka sang administrasyon. Our decision is always in accordance with what is good for the district and for the direction of the province,” he said.

As to his possible clash with Biron, Rep. Defensor said everyone is free to run for governor.

He said he rubs elbows with Biron at the House of Representatives but they never discussed politics.

“Tanan may derecho man magpadalagan governor. Kun mag-abot ang tyempo indi gid malikawan nga magpadalagan kamo, ti eleksyunon na lang,” he said.



Biron said the verbal agreement between the four Iloilo congressmen and Governor Defensor no longer applies following the governor’s transfer to PDP-Laban.

Earlier, Governor Defensor and Reps. Biron, Defensor Jr., Arcadio Gorriceta of the 2nd district, and Raul Tupas of the 5th district had a verbal agreement that they will support a common candidate for governor in the 2019 election.

But Defensor said his jump to the ruling party might invalidate the agreement because the decision to choose the candidate will already be with PDP-Laban.

“He said he’s not honoring it just because he shifted party,” Biron said.

Rep. Defensor refused to further comment on the issue but he clarified that what they agreed on before was only preliminary.

“As far as I’m concerned ang sugilanon namon timprano pa sang tyempo nga to. It is not logical to say that the decision that time as to what will happen in 2019 was already final,” he said.

Meanwhile, first district Rep. Richard Garin, refused to comment on the latest development on the governor’s decision.

In a phone interview with The Daily Guardian, Garin said he will issue an official statement on Sept. 7, 2017 during the oath taking of PDP-Laban members in their district at Guimbal Gymnasium.

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