"Be Cool Man"

The Imperials in Bicol History (Part III)

source: J.A. Carizo |, January 22, 2009

[2G: The Generation … con’t]

Seeing their cousins perform well in politics, the sons of David and Elias also tried to make their respective names in the province. The first of these is Felix, the son of Elias, who vied for a Congressional post in the Second District of Albay in 1919, and the other is Domingo, who also ran in the same post in 1925. Both, though, were unsuccessful in their bids.

Domingo’s defeat, however, did not serve as a stumbling block in his political career. Following the 1925 Congressional elections, he concentrated in lawyering thus establishing a name for himself and a network. After nine years, he tried again his luck and this time he won a seat in the Senate. He served in 1934-35 and regained this post in 1941-46 immediately after the war.

In addition to his service as a senator, he also served as an Associate Justice of the Court of Appeals, and later, as a Chairman of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

During his stint as Comelec Chair, Domingo became a very controversial figure. As a matter of fact, he can be compared with the modern-day Garci (Comelec Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano who is famous for the “Hello, Garci!” recordings) only that he faced his accusers and cleared his name in the court. It should be noted that prior to his appointment as Comelec Chair, Domingo and the Imperial clan were ardent members of the Nacionalista Party. Exceptions are: Carlos who ran under the Partido Progresivista, and Salvador (unknown relation with the other Imperials) who vied a Congressional post in 1922 under the Partido Colectivista. Because of the clan’s political affiliation, among others, Domingo was accused of rigging the elections against the Liberalistas — the political archenemy of the Nacionalistas. The accuser was the then Albay Governor Venancio Ziga and the accusations were recorded in a mimeographed paper entitled “History of the Last Elections of Albay”. The paper was circulated sometime in March 1952 which triggered Domingo to file a case of libel. Ziga and his co-accusers lost and were requuired to pay for damages.

Domingo’s siblings, Gregorio, Sr., and Jose were not as controversial. Jose served as Albay governor from 1934 to 1937 while Gregorio, Sr., served as Legazpi City mayor in various periods.

(To be continued…)


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