Reporters’ Notebook | Inquirer News

Reporters’ Notebook

/ 02:15 AM May 11, 2016



Actor makes it in fourth attempt


GOMEZ              CHONA YU

ORMOC CITY—The fourth time is apparently a charm for actor Richard Gomez, who finally won as mayor of this city in Leyte province.


His wife, Lucy Torres Gomez, received a fresh mandate as fourth district representative in Leyte.

Gomez was proclaimed winner by the board of canvassers about 4 a.m. on Tuesday after he got 53,234 votes compared with incumbent Mayor Edward Codilla’s 44,453. He said he would stop acting for a while to concentrate on his work as city chief executive.

It was the fourth electoral race for Gomez, 50, multiawarded actor, model and athlete.

He first tried his luck in politics as first nominee of party-list Mamayan Ayaw Sa Droga (MAD) in 2001, but the Supreme Court disqualified the party-list group. He tried another shot and run for senator in 2007, but he lost.

In 2010, he ran for fourth district representative of Leyte, but he was disqualified due to lack of residency. He was replaced by his wife, Lucy, who won.

Gomez ran for mayor in 2013 but lost to Codilla by a margin of 3,000 votes.


In this elections, Gomez ran under the National People’s Coalition (NPC) and was endorsed by Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. His wife ran under the Liberal Party. Vicky Arnaiz, Inquirer Visayas


First electoral defeat looms

ANTIQUE Gov. Exequiel Javier is facing defeat in his bid to be reelected, the first time in his political career.

Javier (Liberal Party) was trailing Vice Gov. Rhodora Cadiao (National Unity Party) with 85.31 percent of precincts processed, according to the GMA-Commmission on Elections Mirror Server.

Cadiao had 118,269 votes against Javier’s 90,535 or a margin of 27,734 votes.

Javier, who served as representative of the province’s lone congressional for six terms from 1987 to 1998 and from 2001 to 2010, was seeking a third term. He was also the governor from 1998 to 2001 and 2010 to 2013.

In Aklan, Rep. Teodorico Haresco Jr. (Nacionalista Party) of the province’s lone congressional district is facing defeat against former Gov. Carlito Marquez (United Nationalist Alliance).

With 91.42 percent of precincts processed in the GMA-Commission on Elections Mirror Server, Marquez has 128,717 votes while Haresco has 115,374.

Mayor John Yap (LP) of Malay, Aklan, which has jurisdiction over Boracay Island, also lost to former Mayor Ciceron Cawaling (Nacionalista Party). Nestor P. Burgos Jr., Inquirer Visayas


Mayors’ wives can’t take over

BACOLOD CITY—Wives of incumbent mayors who wanted to take over the posts they would vacate in Negros Occidental province, suffered upsets from candidates backed by Rep. Alfredo Abelardo Benitez, one of the richest members of Congress.

Marisa Montelibano of Silay City and Sheila Saratan of Talisay City took active support roles in their husband’s projects and led popular campaigns. But voters went for their male opponents who are incumbent vice mayors.

Montelibano (Liberal Party) lost the mayoral race in Silay to Vice Mayor Mark Golez (Partido ng Masang Pilipino) who got 24,961 votes. Montelibano got  21,528 votes while Buddy Jison (independent) had 17,718.

Talisay Vice Mayor Niel Lizares (independent) won as mayor with 28,440, defeating Saratan (LP) who got 21,119 votes.

“Maybe people went against the idea that the mayorship is something that can just be inherited, and went for those they felt were more component,” said a resident, who asked not to be identified.

But some believe massive support from Benitez played a big part in the victory of the two vice mayors. Carla P. Gomez, Inquirer Visayas


Mayoral bet who quit almost won

LIM-FERNANDEZDAGUPAN CITY—Businesswoman Celia Lim withdrew from the mayoral race here in March to take care of her sick husband, former Mayor Benjamin Lim. That left her opponent, reelectionist Mayor Belen Fernandez, the only candidate.

But when the elections returns were tallied on Monday night, Lim was surprised that she trailed Fernandez by only 111 votes. By 11 a.m. on Tuesday, with 98.77 percent of the election returns counted, she got 37,356 votes as against Fernandez’s 37,467.

“We were surprised,” said Lim’s son, reelectionist Vice Mayor Brian Lim, whose opponent, Brian Kua, also pulled out from the race like his mother. “But we are very grateful to our supporters for voting despite public knowledge that she was no longer running.”

Under the law, unopposed candidates need only one vote to win.

When she quit on March 22, Lim’s name, along with Kua’s, was already printed in the ballots, according to the Commission on Elections.

Political observers said the votes for Lim were in “protest” against Fernandez, but others said it indicated voters’ desperation for Lim’s withdrawal.

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In 2013, Lim’s husband, who was mayor at that time, was locked in a bitter political fight with Fernandez, who was then the vice mayor. On the eve of the elections, then Mayor Lim suffered a stroke, losing to Fernandez in the mayoral race. Gabriel Cardinoza, Inquirer Northern Luzon

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