It’s going to be a bout between Ormoc City Mayor Richard “Goma” Gomez and former Comelec Commissioner Gregorio “Goyo” Larrazabal to represent the 4th congressional district of Leyte.

The fourth district of Leyte will be a battleground between big shots Ormoc City Mayor Richard “Goma” Gomez and former Commission on Elections commissioner Gregorio “Goyo” Larrazabal in the May 2022 polls.

Larrazabal, from the once-powerful political clan in Ormoc City, filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) Monday under the People’s Reform Party (PRP), National People’s Coalition (NPC), and Probinsiya Muna Development Initiative (PROMDI).

In July this year, he said he was “seriously looking” at a possible senatorial bid reportedly under the ticket of Senators Panfilo “Ping” Lacson and Vicente “Tito” Sotto III.

Various sources said Larrazabal has aligned with their former political foes, the Codillas, that the Torres-Gomez tandem and their allies defeated in previous elections since 2010.  

Gomez, of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan Cusi wing, swaps positions with his wife, Rep. Lucy, who held the position for three consecutive terms. 

On Thursday, he filed his COC, accompanied by his wife, and daughter Julian. Lucy is set to file her COC for mayor of Ormoc City Friday, despite rumors that she would run as senator under the PDP-Laban. 

Gomez first sought a congressional seat as a nominee of the party-list group Mamayan Ayaw sa Droga (MAD) that the Supreme Court disqualified for not representing the marginalized sector in 2001.

Reminiscent of his MAD days, Gomez said, if elected, one of his priority legislation would be to lobby for the re-imposition of the death penalty, personal advocacy he has not forgone even as city mayor.

“I will work on a legislation to bring back the death penalty to drug traffickers and heinous crimes. I will continue my advocacy on youth, sports, and anti-drugs in Congress,” Gomez said.

He was again disqualified in 2010 for residency issues and was substituted by Lucy, a native of Ormoc.

Gomez said he would also prioritize the crafting of programs and align funds for his district. Among his proposals is the Ormoc-Leyte railway system and additional legislation to protect the agriculture industry from large-scale smuggling of rice.

Leyte’s fourth legislative district includes the towns of Albuera, Isabel, Kananga, Matag-ob, Merida, Palompon, and Ormoc City. Ryan Sorote