>Bohol’s Next Governor in 2010

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Will the 2010 elections break the Herrera-Chatto political alliance?            
This is the question political watchers are asking as the aspirants to next year’s polls start circling their wagons.            
Vice Gov. Julius Herrera does not hide his intentions to seek the highest office in the province after serving three terms as a bridesmaid to Gov. Erico Aumentado who is himself graduating from his post.            
Although he stops short of declaring his gubernatorial bid, Herrera has continued to project himself as Aumentado’s heir apparent which is logical considering that he is now occupying the no. 2 spot.            
There is one catch though. A very prominent catch.            
Rep. Edgar Chatto is also no longer eligible for reelection and is widely perceived to be also casting a moist eye on the governorship.            
Chatto’s handlers are dangling a very attractive proposition to Herrera to avert a street brawl: the first district congressional seat.            
The vice-governor however has time and again declared that his mind had been set and that he is not interested in any other position.            
This being the case, the stage is set for a possible bitter confrontation before the two erstwhile political allies.             
The incumbent vice-governor, who was Calape mayor from 1995 to 2001, had supported the solon in every election that they required them to join forces.            
Herrera backed Chatto’s vice gubernatorial bids in 1995 and 1998 as well as his congressional runs in 2001, 2004 and 2007.            
On the other hand, Chatto also endorsed Herrera for mayor in the two elections where he ran as vice-governor and the latter’s vice-gubernatorial bids in the last three elections.            
And yet it seems the world has finally grown too small for the two of them. There is room for only one at the top.             
Unlike ex-Rep. Eladio Jala who took a break by fielding his son, Chatto wants to keep his streak alive.            
So instead of the configuration where his wife Pureza Veloso-Chatto would run in his place, the solon is more inclined to run for governor instead.            
The Chatto camp had been hoping Herrera would be prevailed upon to slide down to congressman.            
Insiders however say Herrera made it clear to the top Lakas officials in Bohol just before the 2007 polls that he will be running for governor in 2010. There is no indication that the vice-governor has changed his mind.            
Herrera has remarked on certain occasions that his gubernatorial ambitions were known to his partymates.            
“Anyone who heard it and runs for governor knew they would be fighting me,” he added.            
Given this perspective, the ball is now in the hands of Chatto who also seems unbending in his own gubernatorial ambitions.            
Unless a new equation looms into view, there seems no stopping a Herrera-Chatto confrontation next year. A third force may come into play but he will be nothing more than a spoiler.            
In 2004, it was strange to see Herrera, Chatto and Jala supporting Aumentado instead of former Gov. Rene Relampagos who was formerly on their side.            
Last year, Jala and Relampagos burned their bridges when the former’s son, incumbent Rep. Adam Relson Jala, defeated the latter in a bitter fight all the way to the canvassing.            
Indications point to another break in 2010, this time between Herrera and Chatto.   

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