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Upsets, clans in Central, Northern Luzon races

VICTORY Reelected Ilocos Norte Gov. Matthew Marcos Manotoc (left) and his cousin Sandro Marcos, who won as representative of the province’s first district, are proclaimed on Tuesday. STORY: Upsets, clans in Central, Northern Luzon races

VICTORY | Reelected Ilocos Norte Gov. Matthew Marcos Manotoc (left) and his cousin Sandro Marcos, who won as representative of the province’s first district, are proclaimed on Tuesday. (Photo by JOHN MICHAEL MUGAS)

(First of a series)

Political clans have tightened their grip on their home provinces while several new faces emerged as winners in local elections in Central and Northern Luzon.

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A number of incumbents seeking a fresh term and several unopposed candidates also secured early victories.

In Pangasinan, Rep. Ramon Guico III (fifth district) beat reelectionist Gov. Amado Espino III. It was Espino’s first political defeat.

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Another Espino, reelectionist Rep. Jumel Espino of the second district, lost to former fifth district Rep. Mark Cojuangco, who transferred residence to the capital town of Lingayen. Relectionist Vice Gov. Mark Lambino won against Board Member Nestor Reyes. In La Union province, the Ortegas continued to dominate local races.

Raphaela Veronica Ortega-David, daughter of Gov. Francisco Emmanuel “Pacoy” Ortega, was leading in the race for governor based on unofficial tallies.

But Pacoy lost in the mayoral race in the capital San Fernando City against reelectionist Mayor Herminigildo Gualberto.

Ortega-David’s uncle, Mario Eduardo, ran unopposed for vice governor.

In Ilocos Norte, the Marcoses dominated the local polls, pulling off an upset against their closest opponents from another dominant political family, the Fariñases. Matthew Marcos Manotoc, son of Sen. Imee Marcos, won another term as governor, beating veteran politician and former Rep. Rodolfo “Rudy” Fariñas.

It was a landslide victory even for Manotoc’s aunt, Cecilia Araneta Marcos, who secured another term as vice governor.

Political neophyte Sandro Marcos, son of the presumed winner in the race for president, former Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., won in a heated contest against reelectionist Rep. Ria Fariñas (first district), Rudy’s daughter.

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In Nueva Ecija, reelectionist Gov. Aurelio Umali won over Palayan City Mayor Adrianne Mae Cuevas for the province’s top post.

Umali’s brother, Vice Gov. Emmanuel Anthony Umali, was reelected after beating former Vice Gov. Edward Thomas Joson, a member of another political clan.But Cuevas’ daughter, Vianne, won as mayor of the capital city of Palayan.

The governor’s wife, former Rep. Czarina Umali, lost to reelectionist Rep. Rosanna Vergara in the province’s third congressional district race.

Vergara’s husband, reelectionist Cabanatuan Vice Mayor Julius Cesar Vergara, also won.

Cabanatuan Mayor Myca Elizabeth Vergara, the Vergaras’ daughter, was also reelected.

Winning governors

Mika Suansing is set to succeed her mother, three-term Rep. Estrellita Suansing after beating actor Rommel Padilla and former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office chair Alexander Balutan.

Four other governors in Central Luzon won in their reelection bids, the unofficial count showed. They are Daniel Fernando of Bulacan, Dennis Pineda of Pampanga, Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. of Zambales, and Susan Yap of Tarlac, who was unopposed.

Lawyer Christian Noveras won as governor of Aurora, while his father, former Gov. Gerardo Noveras, will serve as vice governor.

Bataan second district Rep. Jose Enrique “Joet” Garcia III ran unopposed as governor while his older brother, Gov. Albert Garcia, trumped Laissa Roque in the congressional race.

Cagayan Valley

In Isabela province, the ruling Dy and Albano clans maintained their local strongholds after several family members won key positions.

Reelectionist Vice Gov. Faustino “Bojie” Dy III will serve his second consecutive term after running unopposed. His son, Faustino “Inno” Dy V, will serve as sixth district representative after defeating former Commission on Elections Commissioner Armando Velasco.

Faustino’s other son, Francis Faustino Dy, was reelected as mayor of Echague town.Gov. Rodolfo Albano and his brother, first district Rep. Antonio Albano were reelected.

In Batanes, the top three officials in the province—Rep. Ciriaco Gato Jr., Gov. Marilou Cayco, and Vice Gov. Ignacio Villa — were reelected.

Cordillera

In Baguio City, reelectionist Mayor Benjamin Magalong was proclaimed winner by the board of canvassers, edging out two rivals.

Reelectionists Baguio Rep. Marquez Go and Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan were also proclaimed winners after garnering a wide margin against their closest rivals.

Incumbent officials in Ifugao and Mountain Province will serve their second terms following their proclamation on Tuesday.

Reelected were Gov. Jerry Dalipog, Vice Gov. Glenn Prudenciano, and Rep. Solomon Chungalao of Ifugao. Also winning a fresh term were Gov. Bonifacio Lacwasan, Vice Gov. Francis Tauli and Rep. Maximo Dalog Jr. of Mountain Province.

In Kalinga province, reelectionist Rep. Allen Jesse Mangaoang will serve his third term with a landslide victory over businessman Roy Dickpus.

Former Vice Gov. James Edduba stopped the reelection bid of Gov. Ferdinand Tubban.

It is an all-family affair in Abra province. In the gubernatorial race, Bangued Mayor Dominic Valera beat former Gov. Eustaquio Bersamin, while his daughter, reelectionist Gov. Joy Bernos defeated former Vice Gov. Chari Bersamin.

Eustaquio is the brother of slain Rep. Luis Bersamin, Chari’s father.

La Paz Mayor Ching Bernos, wife of incumbent Rep. Joseph Sto. Niño Bernos, is unopposed for the lone congressional seat.

—REPORTS FROM YOLANDA SOTELO, JOHN MICHAEL MUGAS, ARMAND GALANG, TONETTE OREJAS, GREG REFRACCION, JUN MALIG, MARIA ADELAIDA CALAYAG, CARMELA REYES-ESTROPE, VILLAMOR VISAYA JR., KIMBERLIE QUITASOL, NATHAN ALCANTARA AND KARLSTON LAPNITEN 

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