Palawan governor Jose Chavez Alvarez has hinted at the likelihood of facing former governor Joel T. Reyes in the 2019 elections.
Following his one-on-one meeting with Reyes when the latter made a surprise call to provincial officials, Alvarez told to reporters he thinks Reyes is planning a political comeback.
“Six months from now to one year eleksyon na. Kung pipiliin siya ng taong-bayan, anong magagawa ko, di ba? Pero kung hindi siya pipiliin, manahimik na siya,” Alvarez said.
Reyes did not elaborate on what the two of them spoke about during their meeting but described it as cordial. He said he had offered the province his help.
Asked by reporters if they have become allies and friends, Alvarez quipped:
“Hindi ko masasabing friends. Kaya lang noong una pa, sa akin naman humihingi ng tulong yang mga ‘yan. Mula sa mga magulang niya, sa akin nangungutang ng pera, mga kapatid niya sa akin din nangungutang ng pera,” Alvarez said.
Alvarez said he also expressed his misgivings towards Reyes for supporting then governor Abraham Mitra, whom he defeated in the last gubernatorial elections.
“Sinabi ko sa kanya mabuti naman at narealize mo, kasi noong tumakbo ako, hindi mo ako sinamahan. Ang sinamahan mo eh ‘yung taong walang isang salita,” Alvarez said, referring to Mitra.
Asked what was his reaction to Reyes’ offer to support the work of the provincial government, a message that Reyes also expressed to reporters following their meeting, Alvarez said he declined Reyes’ offer.
“I don’t need him. He doesn’t need me. Hindi ko siya kailangan because I’m here to develop the province, not for personal convenience,” he added.