TACLOBAN CITY—Mayor Alfred Romualdez just received a fresh mandate and could not hide his happiness.
“I’m not only happy that the elections are over but I have survived. Imagine, kalaban ko pader (my foes was a pillar),” Romualdez told the Philippine Daily Inquirer on Tuesday morning.
Romualdez defeated An Waray Rep. Florencio Noel, an independent candidate who was endorsed by President Benigno Aquino III and his sister, celebrity Kris Aquino.
He was proclaimed by the City Elections Board of Canvassers at 7:51 a.m. after he received 45,182 votes against Noel’s 38,460 votes – a lead of 6,722 votes.
His wife, Cristina Gonzales-Romualdez, was also leading in the race for the 10-seats on the City Council.
Cousin Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez was also on his way to serving a third and last term as he ran unopposed.
The re-elected mayor said he was happy that he won even if his opponent had the backing of the Aquinos.
“I was obviously the underdog,” he said.
Romualdez said he was both sad and disappointed that the President had been fed wrong information that Tacloban, under his leadership, did not show any progress.
In his message during a recent visit here, Aquino claimed that the city had not experienced any development while under the control of the Romualdezes.
Still, Romualdez said, he had nothing personally against the President, who, he believed, was just fed wrong information.
“Those people who are not from Tacloban who campaigned against me were misinformed by their leaders and I don’t blame them,” he said.