BAGUIO CITY, Philippines—The ballots have been counted in many provinces, giving fresh mandate to new leaders by July.
But the canvass continues to be agonizing in some provinces like Pampanga, La Union and Ifugao, due to malfunctioning precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines.
Of the provinces tagged as areas of concern in the midterm elections, Abra, Pangasinan and Ilocos Sur have proclaimed their newly elected officials.
On Tuesday, lawyer Mae Richelle Belmes, Abra election supervisor, proclaimed Rep. Ma. Jocelyn Bernos, Gov. Eustaquio Bersamin and Vice Governor Rosario Bersamin, in what poll officials, the police and Abra’s civil society described as the province’s most peaceful elections.
In Pangasinan, reelectionist Gov. Amado Espino Jr. was proclaimed on Wednesday as winner, ending a bitter rivalry with Liberal Party candidate, Hernani Braganza, the outgoing Alaminos City mayor.
Although the canvass reports from 10 Pangasinan towns have not been received yet by the provincial board of canvassers, Espino’s proclamation proceeded, on Wednesday, after it was determined that those votes would no longer affect Espino’s wide margin.
Braganza conceded the race. In a statement, he said: “I have embarked on a mission to seek the highest position of the provincial capitol, hoping to implement reforms in local governance and help restore pride and dignity among Pangasinenses. Judging from the results of the elections, it seems that I have fallen short in rallying our people behind this cause.”
Espino, who ran under the Nationalist People’s Coalition, received 809,165 votes against Braganza’s 281,037.
Also proclaimed was Espino’s running mate, reelectionist Vice Gov. Jose Ferdinand Calimlim, who got 600,242 votes against the 255,628 votes cast for his opponent, former Philippine National Police chief, Arturo Lomibao.
Also proclaimed were reelectionist Representatives Jesus Celeste (first district), Leopoldo Bataoil (second district), Gina de Venecia (fourth district), Kimi Cojuangco (fifth district) and Marlyn Primicias-Agabas (sixth district), all NPC candidates. Poll officials also proclaimed Rosemarie Arenas, who ran unopposed, as representative of the third district.
Arthur Celeste and Belen Fernandez were proclaimed as mayors of Alaminos City and Dagupan City, respectively.
Pangasinan election supervisor Marino Salas said results from 10 towns have been delayed due to defective compact flash (CF) cards.
In Ilocos Sur, the Singsons retained their hold over the province. Ryan Luis Singson, son of outgoing Gov. Luis “Chavit” Singson, was proclaimed governor, while Deogracias Victor Savellano was proclaimed vice governor.
Also proclaimed as representative of the first district was Singson’s other son, Ronald, who served time in Hong Kong for a drug conviction. Singson’s cousin, Eric Singson, reclaimed his post as second district representative.
In Ilocos Norte, reelectionist Gov. Imee Marcos and her mother, Rep. Imelda Marcos (second district), were given fresh mandate. Poll officials also proclaimed Angelo Barba as vice governor and Rodolfo Fariñas as first district representative. Chevylle Fariñas was proclaimed mayor of Laoag City.
In Batanes, Comelec officials proclaimed Vicente Gato as governor, Ronaldo Aguto as vice governor and reelectionist Henedina Abad, wife of Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, as representative.
In La Union, poll officials proclaimed Manuel Ortega as governor and Aureo Nisce as vice governor. Also proclaimed was Eufranio Eriguel as second district representative.
In Mt. Province, Gov. Leonard Mayaen, Vice Gov. Bonifacio Lacwasan and Rep. Maximo Dalog were reelected.
In Benguet, Rep. Ronald Singson and Gov. Nestor Fongwan, both reelectionists, were proclaimed on Wednesday. Also proclaimed was Nelson Dangwa as vice governor.
In Baguio City, reelectionist Mayor Mauricio Domogan was proclaimed on Tuesday, as well as Nicasio Aliping Jr. as the city’s new representative.
Lawyer Jose Nick Mendros, Comelec Cordillera director, said defective CF cards delayed canvassing in 10 towns in the region.
In Cagayan, the provincial board of canvassers on Wednesday proclaimed the winning congressional candidates for the province’s first and second districts. Still awaiting results from Tuguegarao City and Iguig towns to complete its official tally, the PBOC proclaimed Gov. Alvaro Antonio, Vice Gov. Odi Fausto and third district Rep. Randolph Ting. On Tuesday, the city board of canvassers in Tuguegarao City proclaimed retired police director, Jefferson Soriano, as mayor despite the non-transmittal of results from the Linao East Elementary School.
Soriano was leading incumbent Mayor Delfin Ting by 1,135 votes in the final official tally, but the CBCO proceeded with the proclamation after concluding that it would be “statistically improbable” for Ting’s votes to overwhelm Soriano’s lead.
In Nueva Vizcaya, the PBOC on Tuesday proclaimed reelectionist Rep. Carlos Padilla, his wife Ruth Padilla and lawyer Epifanio Galima Jr. as representative, governor and vice governor, respectively.
The PBOC in Quirino also proclaimed unopposed reelectionist candidates Rep. Dakila Carlo Cua, Gov. Junie Cua and Vice Gov. May Calaunan.
In Tarlac, poll officials proclaimed Enrique “Henry” Cojuangco as representative (first district), Enrique “Kit” Cojuangco Jr. as vice governor and Gelacio Manalang as Tarlac City mayor.
In Pampanga, as of 5 p.m. Wednesday, the PBOC did not receive any certificate of canvas from Lubao, Mexico, San Luis and San Simon towns and Mabalacat City, due to defective CF cards, said provincial election supervisor Fernando Cot-om.
No proclamation was held in the gubernatorial, vice gubernatorial and congressional races on Wednesday afternoon.
Leading in the gubernatorial race was reelectionist Gov. Lilia Pineda while her son, Dennis, was leading in the vice gubernatorial race.
The leading candidates in the congressional races in Pampanga were outgoing Vice Gov. Yeng Guiao (first district), former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (second district), outgoing City of San Fernando Mayor Oscar Rodriguez (third district) and former Rep. Juan Pablo Bondoc (fourth district).
Bondoc managed a comeback in Pampanga’s fourth district, describing himself as the “only politician who survived the onslaught of the Pinedas.” He corrected a report identifying him as an ally of Governor Pineda, founder of the local political party Kambilan.
In Aurora, Vice Gov. Jerry Noveras was proclaimed as new governor while Rommel Rico Angara was proclaimed as vice governor.
Outgoing Gov. Bellaflor Angara-Castillo will represent the province’s lone district.
In Zambales, poll officials proclaimed Gov. Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. and Vice Gov. Ramon Lacbain II, both reelectionists. Also proclaimed were representatives Jeffrey Khonghun (first district) and Cheryl Deloso-Montalla (second district).
In Bulacan, poll officials proclaimed reelectionist Gov. Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado and his wife, first district Rep. Ma. Victoria Sy-Alvarado. Also proclaimed winners in the congressional races were Apol Pancho (second district) and Jonjon Mendoza (third district).
Christian Natividad was proclaimed mayor of Malolos City.
In Bataan, poll officials proclaimed Albert Garcia as governor, Herminia Roman as first district representative, Enrique Garcia Jr. as second district representative and Jose Enrique Garcia III as mayor of Balanga City.
Reports from Vincent Cabreza, Cristina Arzadon, Leoncio Balbin Jr., Yolanda Sotelo, Gabriel Cardinoza, Melvin Gascon and Villamor Visaya Jr., Inquirer Northern Luzon, and Tonette Orejas, Carmela Reyes-Estrope, Greg Refraccion, Robert Gonzaga, Cesar Villa, Jo Martinez-Clemente and Jun Malig, Inquirer Central Luzon