Of the eight siblings, Dudy was the one who joined the political arena. He served Ormoc as councilor for 18 years starting 1992 up to present, taking off a three-year break in 2001-04 because of the term limit.
Now, he aspires to become vice-mayor and filed as an independent candidate on October 5, the last day of filing. He filed his Certificate of Candidacy before his former party-mates, now led by Edward “Ondo” Codilla and running mate Dennis Capuyan and councilors filed theirs.
Dudy, as he is called by family and friends, is married to Cora Arradaza. They have one son Dudy Mark.
Dudy, being the eldest, experienced the time when his father Iñaki and mother, Pura Pongos, were still a struggling young couple. Because of financial ups and downs, he attended Grade 1, 5 and 6 at the St. Peter’s Academy (now SPC), and the rest of the years at the Ormoc City Central School. “Depende sa kwarta”, he said.
He spent his high school at the Sacred Heart for Boys in Cebu (now Ateneo Cebu). He then went to college at the Araneta University Foundation, now La Salle Araneta University, where he graduated with a degree in BS Animal Husbandry.
Dudy then returned to Ormoc to take care of the family’s APL Ranch. He ran it for more than 20 years. Currently, he is vice president of IAL Corporation which owns a string of businesses in the city.
As councilor, Dudy is known to speak his mind on issues which he thinks are worth scrutinizing. He can be obstinate on matters he believes with a passion, even if it displeases his other party mates.
In fact, he said, on some matters that he is known to object, his colleagues would meet without notifying him. Despite this, he said, he surprises them by appearing and participating in the discussion. “I-blind ko nila, di ko nila pasabton”, he said.
Since he is always outvoted during these ticklish matters, he makes sure that his objections are made part of the minutes during the sessions, even if he votes in the end. “You’ve heard me. I always raise a noise during sessions, and ask a lot of questions”, he said.
He said he owes it to the people of Ormoc to know that during those times, he did not keep silent but tried to convince his colleagues to see things his way, even if in the end he toes the party line.
As to what he aims to achieve if elected vice mayor come 2013, Dudy Larrazabal said that he’d like to make the Sanggunian Panlungsod “transparent”, noting that majority of the executive decisions cannot be implemented without the SP’s imprimatur. By transparent, he said, he would like to make the people of Ormoc know what is happening every week.
“I will put the welfare of the Ormocanons on top of everything”, said Dudy, who added he’s even has had loud arguments with Mayor Eric Codilla over some matters he thinks are not right. An example, he said, was the argument they had over the 2.5-meter wide barangay roads which were “too narrow”, endangering road users.
He was told that by making the roads narrow, the project would cover more length. He disagrees with this, saying it was endangering the public because the road could not even accommodate two “balsa” side by side. This is just one of the issues that he had butted heads with Codilla.
As to be able to work with whoever is elected mayor, Dudy said he can work with either Richard Gomez or Edward Codilla, whoever wins.
Dudy Larrazabal is also related to Cong. Lucy Torres-Gomez. But the maverick that he is, he said that family ties have never been a basis for his taking a political stand. He supports Cong. Lucy Torres-Gomez because he has seen her work “and I have nothing but praise for her”.
As for parting ways with his former party mates, he said, “My time with the Codilla family has come to its practical end. I have no regrets and have no ill will towards them.” However, he must pursue his dream and as independent candidate, feels more liberated and unhampered on how he would present his platform of governance to the constituents of Ormoc.