GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATES: (From left) Incumbent Vice Governor Victorino Dennis Socrates, Arthur Ventura, Agapito Salido, Richard Lopez, Joel Reyes, and Eric Abueg.

The Palawan gubernatorial contest will be a fight between FOUR main candidates, notably:

Victorino “Dennis” Socrates is a lawyer and is the incumbent vice-governor of Palawan, serving his third and last term. He served one term as a congressman from the 2nd district (2010-2013). He also served as city mayor of Puerto Princesa in 2001 but lost to an election recall bid mounted by then former mayor Edward Hagedorn. 

Arthur Ventura is running as an independent. Ventura began his political career as the appointed vice governor of Palawan following the EDSA revolution. He went on to serve a term as a board member and was eventually appointed as executive director of the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD). Ventura is the endorsed gubernatorial candidate of the One Palawan Movement, the campaign coalition mounted by the province’s civil society that successfully turned back the proposed division of Palawan into three smaller provinces through a referendum.

Joel T. Reyes has had a long and colorful political career, highlighted by his indictment and detention for the murder of radio broadcaster Dr. Gerry Ortega in 2011. He previously served three terms as a provincial board member and vice governor before ascending to the governorship and completing three full terms. Reyes was convicted of graft and served six years before his release in March 2020. He had been issued another warrant of arrest in connection with the Ortega murder case based on a Court of Appeals ruling to continue his trial.

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Eric Abueg represents the Abueg clan that has had a long history of participation in local politics. He is the son of former Deputy Speaker Amor Abueg and has served three terms in Congress where he also became Deputy Speaker before he yielded the post to his younger sister Cerille “Beng” Abueg, who will be running for a second term.

Two other gubernatorial candidates, Richard Lopez and Agapito Salido are expected to be screened by the poll body as official candidates based on their capacity to pursue a campaign.

Lopez, running as an independent, is a resident of Brooke’s Point and has consistently tried to run for governor in the last five elections.

Agapito Salido filed as a candidate of Partidong Pilipino sa Pagbabago-Lakas ng Tunay na Palaweño. He was born in Agutaya and a resident of Narra.

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