MANILA, Philippines?They are popular and controversial candidates that local pundits thought had victory in the palms of their hands.
Some are facing the possibility of defeat: Scandal-riddled former Agriculture Undersecretary Jocelyn ?Jocjoc? Bolante, priest-on-leave Eddie Panlilio, actor Cesar Montano, former Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez, and many former police and military generals.
Others have sealed or are sensing inevitable triumph: World boxing champion Manny Pacquiao, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, actress Vilma Santos, the Marcoses, Singsons, Dutertes, Dazas and other political dynasties.
Bolante was being trounced by incumbent Gov. Victor Tanco in the closely watched gubernatorial race in Capiz, according to partial election results of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
Based on results of the Comelec tally covering nine towns and Roxas City, Bolante got 79,520 votes behind Tanco?s 126,941. Capiz has 431,368 registered voters.
Bolante of the Ugyon Kita Capiz (UKC) is lagging by a wide margin despite the declared support of 12 of the 17 mayors, including former Liberal Party (LP) stalwart Vicente Bermejo of Roxas.
Bermejo (UKC) was defeated in a close race by Vice Mayor Alan Celino (LP). Celino got 33,122 votes while Bermejo had 32,431, according to final and official tally results.
Sen. Manuel ?Mar? Roxas II, LP vice presidential candidate, earlier vowed to ensure the defeat of Bolante, who continues to be hounded by allegations on his role in the P728-million scam, which involved the alleged misuse of Department of Agriculture funds for fertilizers to support the campaign of President Macapagal-Arroyo in 2004.
Pacquiao, Among Ed
World boxing champion and candidate Manny Pacquiao is having an early lead over rival Roy Chiongbian in the fight for the lone congressional seat in Sarangani.
Official tally as of 9 a.m. on Tuesday showed that Pacquiao garnered 73,472 votes as against Chiongbian?s 35,315. Votes from seven towns still have to be canvassed.
As of 5:07 p.m., precinct votes fed by the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting to gmanews.tv reached 85 percent of the total votes. Pacquiao led with 98,951 over Chiongbian, 49,442.
There was no repeat of the ?miracle? that propelled Catholic priest Eddie Panlilio to Pampanga?s capitol in 2007.
In this year?s election, Lilia Pineda, who started as a coconut juice vendor at cockpits, made sure that she would win convincingly against Panlilio. The new governor is the wife of long-suspected ?jueteng? lord Bong Pineda.
In her second try to win the governor?s seat, Pineda (Lakas-Kampi-CMD) got 269,042 votes as against 117,752 votes for Panlilio, partial Comelec results showed. The tally of her party showed she garnered 483,310 votes while Panlilio (LP) received 237,005.
But Panlilio said while the good governance crusade failed to mount a miracle like in the 2007 elections, he said ?it isn?t dead and over yet.?
Panlilio said the nearly 300,000 votes that he and his running mate, Marco Lazatin, received indicated there ?really is a growing constituency? for good governance in the province.
?There?s victory here already because those who voted for us did not ask anything in return. Theirs were honest votes,? he said.
Unlike in 2007 when her allies made a premature announcement of her supposed victory, this time Pineda made herself scarce and quiet.
In a phone interview on Tuesday, Pineda, 59, said she slept almost the whole day to ease body aches from weeks of campaigning.
Pineda is bound to be the first elected woman governor of Pampanga. Former Gov. Juanita Nepomuceno was appointed in the 1970s to replace then ailing Gov. Brigido Valencia.
?I hope my critics will give me the chance to prove I can serve,? said Pineda, who has nurtured a 30-year-old friendship with President Macapagal-Arroyo.
Easy Arroyo win
In Pampanga, Ms Arroyo, as expected, breezed through the race in the second congressional district and will replace her son, Rep. Juan Miguel Arroyo, a nominee of the party-list group Ang Galing.
Partial official results from the Comelec showed that in five of six towns except Porac, Ms Arroyo received 137,410 votes, beating her opponents, Filipinas Sampang (17,413), Feliciano Serrano (2,111) and Adonis Simpao (17,611).
Lastimoso, other ex-cops losing
Former Philippine National Police chief Roberto Lastimoso of the LP was losing to Jane Tan-Castro (Lakas-Kampi-CMD) in the congressional race in the second district of Capiz.
In Antique, retired Chief Supt. Robert Delfin, former PNP intelligence director, is trailing behind his rivals for the lone congressional district.
In Malinao town in Aklan, retired Lt. Gen. Pedro Ike Inserto, former commander of the Cebu-based Armed Forces of the Philippines? Central Command (Centcom), lost to Malinao Councilor Wilbert Ariel Igoy in the mayoral race.
In Iloilo, retired Chief Supt. Restituto Mosqueda (LP), the incumbent mayor of Estancia town lost to Rene Cordero (Lakas-Kampi-CMD).
But former PNP Deputy Director General Gerardo Flores, who is running unopposed, won a seat in the provincial board.
In Lambunao town, retired Chief Supt. Reynor Gonzales, former director of the PNP Narcotics Group, was reelected.
In Zambales, former Public Works Secretary Hermogenes Ebdane Jr., a retired PNP chief, appeared headed to become the next governor, derailing the reelection bid of Amor Deloso of the LP.
Reelectionist Mayor James Gordon Jr. maintained the family?s hold of Olongapo City by beating former Gov. Vicente Magsaysay.
Raul Gonzalez, son trailing
In Iloilo City, former Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Raul Gonzalez and his son and namesake, Iloilo Rep. Raul Gonzalez Jr., are behind their rivals, based on partial official results.
The elder Gonzalez (Lakas-Kampi-CMD) was trailing incumbent Vice Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog (LP) in the mayoral race. Mabilog had 25,925 votes against Gonzalez?s 22,823, as of 1:35 p.m. on Tuesday from 114 of the 344 clustered precincts in the city.
Running third was former Presidential Assistant on Waters Larry Jamora with 12,379. Jamora conceded to Mabilog on Tuesday morning.
In the congressional race, outgoing Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas (NP) was ahead with 32,891 votes followed by Rep. Gonzalez (Lakas-Kampi-CMD) with 26,289 and former Iloilo City mayor Mansueto Malabor, 2,037. The city has 242,033 registered voters.
Treñas and Mabilog are former allies of the Gonzalezes.
Ilocos Norte voters once again proved their loyalty to the Marcos family when they elected Imee Marcos governor over her cousin, reelectionist Gov. Michael Keon.
Her mother, former first lady Imelda Marcos, also won over former ally, Mariano Nalupta Jr., in the second congressional district seat. Imelda?s son, Rep. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. will vacate the post as he appears to be headed for a Senate win under the Nacionalista Party (NP).
Another Marcos cousin, Angelo Barba, won as vice governor.
Imelda and Imee were proclaimed at the provincial capitol at 3 p.m.
?We are the comeback kids,? Imee said. She thanked their supporters who stuck with them through the campaign. She extended her ?hand of friendship? to Keon. She hinted that her cousin could still work with them for the benefit of the province.
Early Padaca lead
In Isabela, reelectionist Gov. Maria Gracia Cielo Padaca posted an early lead against Rep. Faustino Dy III in the gubernatorial race.
As of 3:10 p.m. on Tuesday, records of the provincial board of canvassers showed Padaca with 211,057 votes and Dy with 169,246. The votes came from 28 towns out of 35 towns and a city in the province.
This year?s race was Padaca?s third against a member of the Dy political family that ruled Isabela for more than 30 years before she stopped their reign in 2004. Padaca lost to Dy III in the congressional race in the third district in 2001.
Cesar Montano concedes
Bohol gubernatorial candidate Cesar Montano (LP) has conceded defeat, hurt by the official outcome of votes from the capital city of Tagbilaran and the 46 towns that saw him trailing third behind first district Rep. Edgar Chatto (Lakas-Kampi-CMD) and Vice Gov. Julius Herrera of the Nacionalista Party (NP).
Based on the last partial count released by the Comelec, Chatto garnered 163,730 votes; Herrera, 126,362; and Montano, 101,718 votes.
Actor Richard Gomez seemed to have a reason to be happy. His wife, Lucy Torres Gomez, who replaced him in the race for the fourth congressional district seat in Leyte, appeared headed for victory.
The final and official results from Ormoc City and four towns covered by the district showed Lucy Torres Gomez leading at 88,156 votes against her opponent, Eufrocino Codilla Jr., 60,813.
The figures do not include the results of two other towns in the district.
Gov Vi, again, Ermitas lose
Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto won in 24 towns and one city in Batangas province over Mayor Edna Sanchez of Sto. Tomas town, a last-minute substitute for her husband Armando who died from a stroke during a campaign sortie to regain the gubernatorial post.
The incumbent governor garnered 364,223 votes while Sanchez got 243,729, based on final Comelec results.
Vice Gov. Marc Leviste had 406,541 while Edwin Ermita, a son of former Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, had 161,094.
The former Malacañang official himself was losing in the congressional race in the first district based on the Comelec?s partial tally as of 12:37 p.m. on Tuesday. Ermita had 97,493 votes behind Tomas Apacible?s 116,624.
?Manay? Gina de Venecia, wife of outgoing Pangasinan Rep. Jose de Venecia Jr., is leading in the first congressional district race in the province. Her opponent is ?Manang? Celia Lim, wife of former Dagupan City Mayor Benjamin Lim.
In another congressional race, former Bolinao Mayor Jesus Celeste would likely succeed his brother, outgoing Pangasinan Rep. Arthur Celeste, after gaining a comfortable lead over his closest opponent, former television reporter Maki Pulido.
Arthur, however, was trailing reelectionist Mayor Hernani Braganza in the Alaminos mayoral race.
Reelectionist Gov. Amado Espino Jr. took an early lead against Rep. Victor Agbayani.
In the mayoral race in Dagupan, former Mayor Lim maintained a slim lead over reelectionist Mayor Alipio Fernandez Jr.
Davao City Vice Mayor Sara ?Inday? Duterte and her father-mayor, Rodrigo, successfully swapped posts despite a serious challenge from their rival, Speaker Prospero Nograles.
As of 4 p.m. on Tuesday, when at least 97 percent of the total votes had been canvassed at City Hall, Sara garnered 380,268 votes compared to Nograles? 157,615 in the mayoral race. Nograles hadn?t conceded though.
In the vice mayoral race, Rodrigo received 431,244 votes while former Mayor Benjamin de Guzman got 103,963.
Nograles? son, Carlo, had a little luck in his bid to replace his father in Congress. He got 98,929 votes, defeating Councilor Mabel Sunga?s 90,750.
Mitra leads Alvarez
The hotly contested gubernatorial post in Palawan is close to being resolved, with Rep. Abraham Kahlil Mitra (LP) leading businessman Jose Chavez Alvarez by a comfortable margin in both the Comelec and PPCRV counts.
Mitra, son of the late Speaker Ramon V. Mitra, dominated most of the major towns with large voting populations, including Roxas, Narra, Brooke?s Point and Bataraza. He ran for governor after completing three terms as congressman.
Allies of Alvarez, a neophyte candidate who once owned a major logging concession based in the northern town of San Vicente, filed a disqualification case against Mitra for questionable residency. The case is still pending at the Supreme Court.
In La Union, the Ortega clan solidified its leadership in the province with members of the family who ran in this year?s elections clinching wins.
Leading the winners in the family are reelected Rep. Victor Ortega, who ran unopposed in the first district, and his reelectionist brothers, Gov. Manuel Ortega and San Fernando City Mayor Pablo Ortega.
An ally, former Agoo Mayor Eufranio Eriguel, beat reelectionist Rep. Thomas Dumpit Jr. in the second congressional district race.
In Ilocos Sur, 13 members of the Singson family, led by comebacking Gov. Luis ?Chavit? Singson, won.
Singson bested erstwhile ally, former Board Member Efren Rafanan. His son, Rep. Ronald Singson, won his reelection bid, while another son, Ryan, won as vice mayor of Vigan City.
A niece, reelectionist Vigan Mayor Eva Marie Singson Medina, ran unopposed.
Eric Singson Jr., son of outgoing Rep. Eric Singson, won the seat that will be left by his father. His brother, Allen, won his third term as Candon City mayor.
In Bataan, three members of the Garcia family won their reelection bids in key positions in the province.
Gov. Enrique Garcia won as governor while his son Albert Raymon won as representative of the second district. Another son, Jose Enrique III, was reelected mayor of Balanga City, but a daughter, Maria Angela, lost in her congressional bid in the first district against reelectionist Rep. Herminia Roman.
New Ecija dynasty?
In Nueva Ecija, reelectionist Gov. Aurelio Umali appeared headed to become the leader of an emerging political dynasty as he, his wife, and brother were leading their rivals, who belong to the Joson family.
Umali was leading Vice Gov. Edward Thomas Joson in the gubernatorial race while his wife, reelectionist Rep. Czarina Umali (third district), was leading her closest rival, former Vice Gov. Eduardo Joson IV. Umali?s brother, Emmanuel Anthony, is leading the race in the provincial board.
The Josons? political party, Bagong Lakas ng Nueva Ecija (Balane), has been a party to reckon with in past elections. Novo Ecijanos elected a Joson as governor for almost 50 years until Umali won as governor in 2007.
Former Gov. Tomas Joson III, chair of Balane and father of Edward Thomas, said he respected the voters? decision.
?We did our best. We have nothing to be ashamed of,? he said on Tuesday.
His brother, former Vice Gov. Mariano Cristino, however, is headed to capture the mayoral seat of Quezon town while former Rep. Josefina Manuel-Joson, wife of Mariano Cristino, was leading the race in the first congressional district seat.
A son of outgoing Rep. Edno Joson, a brother of Tomas III, appeared headed to get a seat in the provincial board.
In Northern Samar, the partial election results from six towns showed that Raul Daza and his son Paul, both LP candidates, were leading the races for congressman and governor, respectively.
Based on the tally of the provincial board of canvassers as of 2 p.m. on Tuesday, the older Daza got 28,242 while his opponent, provincial Board Member Francisco Rosales, got 16,431.
Paul was leading Harlin Abayon by some 4,000 votes.
In Benguet, reelectionist Gov. Nestor Fongwan looked headed to send Rep. Samuel Dangwa, 74, into retirement when he took a commanding lead over his rival in partial and unofficial vote count released by the provincial board of canvassers.
Fongwan got 54,498 votes from 9 of the province?s 13 towns as of 3 p.m. Tuesday while Dangwa (Independent), who is on his last term as representative, trailed with 27,797 votes. Former Gov. Raul Molintas (NPC) had 13,363 votes.
In the race for the lone congressional seat, lawyer Ronald Cosalan (LP) was ahead in the counting with 32,229 votes from nine towns. Cosalan?s victory would bring him back to Congress where he served for two terms.
In Abra, congressional aspirant Joy Valera-Bernos maintained a slight edge over reelectionist Rep. Cecilia Luna, based on election returns from 10 towns.
In Cagayan, reelectionist Gov. Alvaro Antonio was leading Rep. Manuel Mamba in the gubernatorial race, partial results from the Comelec showed. Reports from Cristina Arzadon, Leoncio Balbin Jr. Dhonalyn Agorilla, Charles Keith, Villamor Visaya Jr., Gabriel Cardinoza, Yolanda Sotelo, Vincent Cabreza, Delmar Cariño, Elmer Kristian Dauigoy and Estanislao Caldez, Inquirer Northern Luzon; Tonette Orejas, Charlene Cayabyab, Anselmo Roque, Robert Gonzaga, Greg Refraccion and Jeremy Perey, Inquirer Central Luzon; Marrah Erika Lesaba and Redempto D. Anda, Inquirer Southern Luzon; Jeffrey M. Tupas, Judy Quiros and Aquiles Z. Zonio, Inquirer Mindanao; Nestor Burgos Jr., Felipe Celino, Elvie Roa, Kit Bagaipo, Rachel Arnaiz and Carla Gomez, Inquirer Visayas