Coin toss decides Palawan town’s mayoral race
ARACELI, Palawan—The mayoral race is not a sporting match or a gambling game, but the winner in this town was decided by the flip of a coin.
Sue Cudilla was chosen as the town’s new mayor based on the outcome of three consecutive coin tosses supervised by the municipal board of canvassers on Friday afternoon.
Cudilla and Noel Beronio, her rival for mayor of Araceli town in Palawan province, each received the same number of votes—3,495—at the end of the official tally on Thursday night.
Settle the tie
Both parties agreed to settle the tie through a coin toss. Beronio, the incumbent mayor, however, did not show up for the toss, sending his brother as his representative.
In a phone interview Cudilla said both sides decided on a “best of three” tosses. “In those three instances I won so, of course, I was very happy,” she said.
According to the Election Code, when two or more candidates for the same position receive an equal number of votes, the board of canvassers will proceed with drawing of lots, or flipping a coin.
Loser accepts ‘God’s will’
“There is nothing I can do if that was the result because I believe that that may be God’s will,” Beronio said in a text message to the Inquirer.
Cudilla went around town in a motorcade after she was proclaimed the new mayor.
“We were received warmly by the people,” she said. “The other camp, through his representative who is his brother, also accepted the outcome.”
Araceli is a 4th class island municipality in northern Palawan. It takes about five hours by boat from the provincial capital, Puerto Princesa City, to reach the island.
Araceli was carved out of Dumaran town as a separate municipality in 1961. It is touted as one of Palawan’s “gems” for its white sand beaches.