REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK: Election updates
BOAC, MARINDUQUE, Philippines — Marinduque sees the beginning of a new era as members of the Velasco family will replace the Reyes family in leading the island province in Southern Tagalog.
Former Supreme Court Associate Justice Presbitero Velasco Jr. was elected governor, while his son, Lord Allan Jay, will serve another term as the province’s lone district representative to Congress.
It was a landslide victory for father and son, who both ran under the administration’s Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan.
The former justice led by 32,179 votes against closest rival and independent candidate Rey Salvacion.
Lord Allan Jay garnered 95,067 votes against Harold Lim of the United Nationalist Alliance who got 5,488 votes.
A third candidate for governor was Violet Reyes, a daughter of the late governor and Reyes clan matriarch Carmencita “Nanay” Reyes.
She received 5,488 votes. Carmencita, who led Marinduque (2015 population: 234,521) for 31 years by switching positions as governor or representative, withdrew her candidacy for representative in November last year.
Reyes, 87, died in January this year due to ruptured abdominal aneurysm.
In a phone interview on Tuesday, Lord Allan Jay said his legislative work would focus on health, agriculture and tourism programs. —Report from Maricar Cinco, Mayda Lagran and Jofel Lancion
Pacquiao party delivers knockout punch in Sarangani, GenSan
GENERAL SANTOS CITY, SOUTH COTABATO, Philippines — Candidates of the People’s Champ Movement, a local party founded by world boxing icon and Sen. Manny Pacquiao, bagged top posts here and nearby Sarangani province.
Sarangani Rep. Rogelio Pacquiao, a younger brother of the senator, won by a landslide for a second term in office, based on partial and unofficial results.
Rogelio garnered 179,126 votes against Jacob Arroyo, an independent bet who got 9,568 votes.
A nephew of the world boxing icon, neophyte Zyrex Pacquiao, also won over his three rivals in the mayoral race in Maasim town.
Russel Jamora, brother of Jinkee, the senator’s wife, won a seat in the provincial board. Reelectionist Gov. Steve Solon, beat independent candidate Mohamad Aquia with 171,573 votes against 27,502.
As of Wednesday, results from 446 of the province’s 453 clustered precincts, or 98.45 percent of election returns, had been transmitted to the Commission on Elections (Comelec). General Santos City Mayor Ronnel Rivera was reelected for a third term.
Final Comelec results showed Rivera receiving 111,761 votes while his closest rival, Jay Omila, of the local party Achievers with Integrity Movement (AIM), getting 83,153 votes.
But Rivera’s running mate, Lorelie Pacquiao, the senator’s sister-in-law, lost to lawyer Loreto Acharon of AIM. —Bong S. Sarmiento
Leyte mayor’s reelection derailed by single vote
TACLOBAN CITY, LEYTE, Philippoines — What a difference a vote makes.
In Leyte province, San Isidro Mayor Susan Ang failed in her bid for a second term after the final tally of votes showed her opponent, Remedio Veloso, edging her by a vote.
Veloso of the United Nationalist Alliance got 8,829 votes while Ang, who ran under the administration’s PDP-Laban, had 8,828 votes.
Veloso is the nephew of Leyte Rep. Vicente Veloso. On May 8, a gunman strafed the house of Ang, killing municipal administrator Levi Mabini.
Ang blamed Veloso for the gun attack but the latter denied he was involved in the incident. —Joey A. Gabieta
‘Sir Chief’ loses Cebu contest
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Actor Richard Yap’s star power as television’s “Sir Chief” failed to end the dominance of Rep. Raul del Mar in Cebu City’s north district.
It was a landslide victory for Del Mar, who got 135,528 votes against Yap who had 81,575 votes.
Del Mar, 78, was representative from 1987 to 1998 and from 2001 to 2010.
In between terms, he was succeeded by his children — Raoul from 1998 to 2001, and Rachel from 2010 to 2013. —Nestle Semilla
Upsets in Pangasinan
DAGUPAN CITY, PANGSINAN, Philippines — Vice Mayor Brian Lim defeated two-term Mayor Belen Fernandez by 1,239 votes.
Both politicians come from families that own and operate shopping malls in Northern Luzon.
Unofficial returns showed Binalonan Mayor Ramon Guico III was poised to defeat Rep. Amado Espino Jr. in the race for the fifth district congressional seat, although Espino’s son, reelectionist Gov. Amado Espino III, was winning in the gubernatorial race.
The elder Espino’s loss is one of the biggest upsets in the province as he has been perceived to be Pangasinan’s most formidable political figure.
But two Espino family members won — Bugallon Mayor Jumel Espino for the second district congressional seat, and the Espino’s matriarch, Priscilla, who will take over Jumel’s seat as mayor.
Espino III beat his rival, outgoing Alaminos Mayor Arthur Celeste, whose 22-year-old son Arth Bryan became the youngest mayor of the city.
Bolinao Mayor Arnold Celeste, Arthur’s brother, won the first district congressional seat against Thomas Orbos, former administrator of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority.
Another sibling, Bolinao Vice Mayor Alfonso Celeste, reclaimed the post of municipal mayor.
Another upset in the Pangasinan races was the defeat of the Perez clan in Urdaneta City for the mayoral and vice mayoral seats.
The Perezes have lorded over the city for decades.
Election returns showed Julio Parayno III winning over Tet Perez-Naguiat in the mayoral race, while a cousin, Jimmy Parayno, was leading Tet’s brother, former Mayor Amadeo Gregorio “Bobom” IV Perez. —Yolanda Sotelo and Gabriel Cardinoza
Fuentes ends 27-year run in South Cotabato politics
KORONADAL CITY, SOUTH COTABATO, Philippines — Reelectionist South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes conceded defeat on Tuesday, a major upset in the political landscape of the province which she led either as governor or congressional representative in the past 27 years.
Fuentes lost to Reynaldo Tamayo Jr., the three-term mayor of Tupi, a sleepy town known for its fruit and vegetable production.
“I pray that he will be a better governor than I am,” she told reporters on Tuesday.
She said she was accepting the outcome of the elections, noting that “the people have spoken.”
Fuentes ruled the province as governor for 15 years and represented the second district of South Cotabato in Congress for 12 years.
Tamayo is president of the province’s League of Municipalities. —Bong S. Sarmiento