Hagedorn loses recall
PUERTO PRINCESA CITY—Incumbent Mayor Lucilo R. Bayron weathered the election recall bid mounted by the camp of former Mayor Edward S. Hagedorn, winning by a decisive margin in a tension-filled but generally peaceful special elections held on Friday.
The Commission on Elections promptly declared Bayron as the winner early Saturday following a manual tabulation of votes and after overruling the repeated motions of Hagedorn’s lawyers to suspend the proclamation over allegations of election irregularities.
“I knew I was going to win. I was even expecting a wider margin,” said Bayron, who got 44,299 votes over Hagedorn’s 39,002.
Following his proclamation at the provincial capitol, Bayron called for unity among a city electorate intensely divided by the recall exercise.
“The people have spoken. If my detractors really care for Puerto Princesa, they should listen to the voice of the people and we have to unite,” Bayron said.
Bayron, however, lambasted newly installed city police chief Senior Supt. Ernesto Tindero whom he accused of political partisanship.
“It’s very clear that he (Tindero) is partisan. We will do everything we can to have him replaced,” Bayron said.
Tindero was installed as city police chief at the height of the recall process and amid protests by Bayron.
Voting in the city’s 66 barangays showed Bayron winning by a narrow margin in most precincts within the city proper, and snatching wins in several outlying villages which observers said was the traditional bailiwick of Hagedorn.
Hagedorn had served as mayor of Puerto Princesa City for about 20 years, punctuated in 2002 by a successful recall bid against then sitting Mayor Dennis Socrates who yielded to Hagedorn after serving for only one year.
Bayron consistently won as Hagedorn’s vice mayor during the same period until the two severed political and family ties when Bayron squared off and won against Hagedorn’s wife for the mayoralty post in 2013.
Bayron is a member of the United Nationalist Alliance of Vice President Jejomar Binay while Hagedorn had become member of the ruling Liberal Party of Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, a bitter Binay rival.