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Slain vice mayor’s widow wins mayoral post, ends dynasty in Cavite capital

/ 11:35 AM May 15, 2019
Gemma Lubigan

Gemma Lubigan, wife of slain Cavite vice mayor Alexander Lubigan, cast her vote on May 13. Lubigan won as mayor of Trece Martires City, beating political clan patriarch, Jun de Sagun. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

TRECE MARTIRES CITY — The widow of slain city vice mayor Alexander Lubigan dislodged the de Saguns, who had held this capital city of Cavite for almost two decades.

Gemma Lubigan, a Nacionalista Party candidate, was proclaimed city mayor around 8 a.m. Wednesday after garnering 28,329 votes in the May 13 elections.

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Her rival and clan patriarch, Jun de Sagun, got 21,376 votes, followed by independent candidate Denver Colorado with 10,407 votes.

Gemma, a mother of three, emerged from behind the political scene after Alexander was ambushed on July 7, 2018.

Alexander had just left Gemma and their daughter in a gym, when he was shot and killed in his vehicle, along with his driver-bodyguard Romulo Guillemer, just days after Alexander made known his plan to challenge the de Saguns for mayor.

The police filed a murder case against the suspected mastermind–incumbent mayor Melandres de Sagun.

Also charged were Maragondon councilor Lawrence Arca and three others.

Melandres denied any involvement and the Department of Justice later cleared him of any charge.

Arca, meanwhile, has posted bail but lost in the mayoral race in Maragondon.

In an interview in their home, where tarpaulins calling for justice for the slain vice mayor still hang, Gemma said she was not expecting to win against her rival who had the machinery “to buy votes and harass” her supporters.

The de Sagun’s fielded Jun, a former city mayor, in place of Melandres, who was on his last term.

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De Saguns’ supporters claimed Melandres was wrongly accused and held on trial by publicity.

“Why don’t we switch places? I would rather be the ‘wrongly accused’ than the one who lost a loved one,” Gemma said.

Authorities have tagged this city as an election hotspot. As of Wednesday, Melandres has not been seen in the city hall earlier guarded by the police and the Philippine Air Force during the elections. (Editor: Leti Boniol)

See the bigger picture with the Inquirer's live in-depth coverage of the election here https://inq.ph/Election2019

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TAGS: #VotePH2019, Alexander Lubigan, Cavite, elections 2019, Gemma Lubigan
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