Gubernatorial elections in Capiz (1937, 1940)


During the succeeding two elections, the Altavas-Roxas feud did not wane but instead got more intense after those elections and it was getting more personal. 

On December 14, 1937, Governor Gabriel K. Hernandez sought his second term as local chief executive of the Province under Partido Nacionalista Democrata Pro-Independencia (Pro). 

On the other hand, Senators Jose C. Altavas and Antonio V. Belo fielded Dr. Catalino Albar as the standard-bearer of the Partido Nacionalista Democratico (Anti). After the intense election campaign, incumbent Governor Hernandez was re-elected for another three years. 

On December 10, 1940, Governor Hernandez sought his third and last term. It was during this election that the members of Partido Nacionalista finally sought for the party’s unification which meant that the Partido Nacionalista Democratico (Anti) and Partido Nacionalista Democrata Pro-Independencia merged as one party again. 

After a series of consultations, Hernandez was proclaimed as the official candidate of the Partido Nacionalista in the Province of Capiz.

Meanwhile, former Senator Antonio V. Belo who was an Anti and identified with the Altavas group was sidelined in the unified Partido Nacionalista. Instead of running, his wife Candida Malaya Belo ran against Governor Hernandez. She was the first female gubernatorial candidate in Capiz. 

After the votes had been cast, Hernandez obtained 27,798 while Belo got 16,587. Overwhelmingly, the Capisnons gave Hernandez a wide margin of 11,000 votes. 

The Nacionalistas also won landslide for Third Member of the Provincial Board positions which was secured by Eduardo Abalo, the incumbent Municipal Mayor of Capiz (now Roxas City) garnering 23,855 votes and Pedro Fuentes, 21,938 votes.

Hernandez was the last Nacionalista Governor elected until the Liberal Party dominated the gubernatorial elections from 1947 to 1955. The next Nacionalista Governors elected were Jose A. Dinglasan in 1955, Cornelio ‘Dodoy” Villareal, Jr. in 1971 and Jose E. Borda in 1988. Other non-Liberal Post War Governors were Cornelio L. Villareal, Jr. KBL (1980); Esteban Evan E. Contreras, LAKAS-NUCD (1992 and 1995); and, Esteban Evan B. Contreras, Independent (2019).*