Duterte allies win, lose in CDO
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY –- It’s either victory or defeat for local candidates endorsed by President Duterte in this city, proving that not all who got the presidential blessing were assured of winning in the just concluded midterm elections.
Mayor Oscar Moreno and his running mate, Vice Mayor Raineir Joaquin Uy, who are both reelectionists and are on their last term, retained their posts, while most of their allies also won, notably former broadcast journalist Girlie Balaba, who was heavily endorsed by the President himself.
In the recent campaign sorties, Duterte personally asked Moreno to help Balaba and congressional bet Yan Lam Lim. Lim, however, lost to Rufus Rodriguez.
Moreno and his partymates belong to the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), the party headed by Duterte.
Rodriguez, national president of the Centrist Democratic Party of the Philippines, has forged an alliance with the Padayon Pilipino, founded by the late Vicente “Dongkoy” Emano, and the Davao City-based regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HnP).
HnP fielded Jose Gabriel “Pompee” La Viña for the mayoral race, with Emano’s daughter Nadya Emano-Elipe, who replaced her deceased father, as his running mate. Both lost to their opponents Moreno and Uy, respectively.
Both camps have presidential endorsements. La Viña showed on social media photos of Duterte raising his hand, while Duterte called up Moreno on two occasions in the middle of political rallies here, asking the local chief executive to help Balaba and Lim win.
Based on the canvassing results by the city board of canvassers, Moreno won with 157,816 votes, while La Viña got 89,736. For the vice mayoralty, Uy got 141,591 votes; Emano-Elipe, 100,036.
Balaba, a known friend of the Duterte family and a first-time political bet, mustered the second highest votes among the city councilor candidates, with 73,612 votes. She followed Edna Dahino, who got 79,733 votes.
Cagayan de Oro has 345,358 registered voters with 401 clustered precincts.
Days before the election, Moreno was the target of disinformation when fake orders supposedly coming from the Commission on Elections and the Sandiganbayan spread that he was disqualified from running for office.
Moreno’s camp accused La Viña to be behind the spread of the fake Comelec and Sandiganbayan orders on social media, which the former Social Security Services official flatly denied.
In Misamis Oriental, where there are 624,030 voters, Emano’s son Yevgeny Vicente retained his gubernatorial post, but his running mate and brother-in-law President Elipe lost.
The younger Emano garnered 248,847 votes. His opponent Julio Uy got 197,206 votes. For the vice gubernatorial race, Jeremy Pelaez won with 211,833 votes, while Elipe got 183,200 votes.
In Malabang, Lanao del Sur, the more than five decades rule of the Balindong clan was put to an end by Mohammad Yahya “Tomas” Macapodi.
Macapodi won by 8,884 votes. His rivals Rusty Balindong and Arrie Balindong got 3,702 and 2,113 votes, respectively.
Rocky Ali, Macapodi’s running mate for vice mayor, also won by 6,049 votes, against Ahl Balindong, 3,191; Alexander Balindong, 2,636; and Aksara Balindong, 2,413.
The Balindongs held political positions in Malabang for 53 years. The incumbent Malabang officials are composed mostly of the members of the Balindong clan, except for one.
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