BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines – Rafael Coscolluela turned 74 over the weekend, a veteran of many political battles over more than 20 years starting from his election as provincial vice governor post the EDSA People Power I civilian-backed coup d’etat in 1986.
He wants to go into retirement, “long overdue,” he says, after nine straight years as top Capitol executive, three straight terms that he served under three presidents – Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada and Gloria Arroyo.
Still lithe and sprightly for his years, “Gov. Lito,” as he is fondly called, continues to be called upon by governors after him, some his former political rivals, to advise them.
As the coming 2022 polls appear to be a non contest for sitting Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, Coscolluela said “some people,” and “no group in particular,” have been persuading him to make a run for the top provincial post.
While he did not elaborate as to the reasons why these people want him to run, Coscolluela said he has no “further political ambitions,” and would usually end the discussion by making a joke.
“I will say: ‘I will only run if I have secured a certificate of insanity,’ and that usually ends the conversation,” he told DNX.
Coscolluela ran and lost as an independent candidate in 2020 to then Gov. Alfredo Maran on Jr. who eventually made him an adviser on economic affairs.