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Tupas brothers lock horns in Iloilo congressional race

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By Tara Yap

ILOILO CITY, Iloilo — Two brothers from the Tupas political clan are running against each other for the congressional seat of Iloilo’s 5th District in the May 2019 elections.

Iloilo 5th District Rep. Raul Tupas (right) and brother Niel “Junjun” Tupas Jr.  (Tara Yap)

Iloilo 5th District Rep. Raul Tupas (right) and brother Niel “Junjun” Tupas Jr. (Tara Yap)

Incumbent Iloilo 5th District Rep. Raul Tupas will face his elder brother, former congressman Niel “Junjun” Tupas, Jr.

The sons of former Iloilo governor Niel Tupas Sr. have already filed their certificates of candidacy (COCs) for the congressional district in northern Iloilo province, the bailiwick of the Tupas clan.

Rep. Tupas is running under the Nacionalista Party (NP) while Niel Jr. is running under the Liberal Party (LP).

The political bad blood between the brothers can be traced back to the May, 2016 elections when Rep. Tupas won against lawyer Yvonne Angeli “Gel” Lee-Tupas, Niel Jr.’s wife.

Niel Jr. ran unsuccessfully for vice governor against Christine “Tingting” Garin.

After the May 2016 elections, the Tupas clan was hopeful that the political rift between the two brothers would come to an end. But it never happened.

Niel Jr. now wants to challenge his younger brother, Rep. Tupas, whom he claimed is not sincere in serving the constituents of northern Iloilo.

On the other hand, Rep. Tupas pledged to support the continuing socio-economic growth spurred by a rising tourism industry.

Meanwhile, three other Tupas brothers are also seeking elective positions for the May 2019 elections.

Mayor Niel Tupas III of Barotac Nuevo town is running for vice governor under the administration’s PDP-Laban.

Iloilo 5th District Provincial Board Member Nielo Tupas is running for town mayor of Barotac Nuevo while another brother, Dr. Nielito Tupas, is running to replace his brother’s vacated seat in the Provincial Board.

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