By Villamor Visaya Jr., Philippine News Agency Stringer and Philippine Daily Inquirer Correspondent
TUGUEGARAO CITY — In a surprise twist of events, Cagayan first district congressional bet Katrina Ponce Enrile on Monday (Feb. 14) threw her support behind Cagayan Gov. Manuel Mamba’s reelection bid despite the longtime political rivalry between their families.
“I would vouch for Governor Mamba because we share the same development initiatives for the province,” Katrina said in an interview with reporters shortly after the campaign rally of presidential aspirant Ferdinand Marcos Jr. here. Mamba was not present during the rally.
In 2016, Mamba ordered the removal of a bust believed to be that of former Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, Katrina’s father. Both camps had exchanged tirades in the past years, with the elder Enrile filing a cyber complaint against Mamba in 2020 over the alleged malicious statements thrown at him in a local radio program.
In a separate phone interview with Mamba on Tuesday, he said he was “thankful” for the public endorsement of Katrina and wished her luck in her congressional bid.
However, Mamba said he could “not reciprocate” the support of Katrina as his party is backing retired police general Roberto Damian.
“I would like to thank her (Katrina) for believing in my vision for Cagayan. I hope that she will make it and will support my vision for the opening of Port of Aparri, river rehabilitation projects, establishment of an airport in Piat, redistricting of Cagayan into five districts and conversion of Calayan into a separate island-province like Batanes,” he said.
In the coming 2020 elections, Mamba is pitted against physician Zara Lara, wife of third district Rep. Joseph Lara.
Katrina is an entrepreneur and chief executive officer of Philcomsat Holdings Corp., Jaka Group of Companies and other firms.
She and Damian are running against incumbent Rep. Ramon Nolasco Jr., who is aiming for a second consecutive term.#