Catanduanes was once a part of Albay. On October 26, 1945, it was emancipated from Albay and was declared an island-province by virtue of Commonwealth Act No. 687.
Based on records, gubernatorial elections for Catanduanes started in 1948. According to Prof. Alex De Guzman, when the island was still in transition to becoming a full-pledge province, it was headed by Lt. Governor Felipe Olesco Usero. The complete list of governors of Catanduanes from 1948 to present is as follows:
In the early part of 2008, I wrote a paper for the Institute for Popular Democracy (which I also presented in the PPSA) on the decline of the Imperials of Albay Province. The paper concludes that if the clan will not reinvent itself and if the members of the clan’s later generation will not step their foot in politics, the clan will eventually lost its hold on local power.
Indeed, on April 11 this year, the clan’s political patriarch died and it signaled the death of the clan in local politics. He is Carlos “Papay” Imperial, the son of Domingo. Papay served as the Congressman of the Second District of Albay from 1965-1972; an Assemblyman from 1978-1984; and a Congressman again from 1987-2004. His wife, Norma, substituted for him to fill-in his term limits from 1998-2001.
Except for Camarines Norte where results are still unavailable, Bicol has two new governors — Rizalina Seachon Lanete of Masbate, and Raul Lee of Sorsogon. Albay’s Joey Salceda, Camarines Sur’s L-Ray Villafuerte, and Catanduanes’s Joseph Cua were all re-elected.
In general, our forecasts were true. We only failed in Masbate where Lanete won over the incumbent, Olga Kho. One reason is that we failed to factor in the peace compact which restricted the forces supporting the Khos to exert pressure on the voters and the election tellers.
Below are the results based on the Comelec as of May 19, 2010.