‘Ro-Ro’ even without Salceda
LEGAZPI CITY—Outgoing Albay Gov. Joey Salceda, once a stalwart of the Liberal Party (LP) in the province, promised to deliver votes to independent presidential candidate, Sen. Grace Poe, when he left the administration party two weeks before the elections.
But his dumping of LP standard-bearer Mar Roxas did little to prevent an administration win in Albay.
The official count of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday showed Roxas getting 221,778 votes, while Poe had 221,578. Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte was third with 80,361, followed by Vice President Jejomar Binay, 63,144, and Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, 15,595.
Salceda also endorsed Poe’s running mate, Sen. Francis Escudero, but Albay went for LP candidate, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, in the battle among Bicolano candidates. Robredo garnered 380,745 votes, while Escudero got 117,113.
They were followed by Senators Ferdinand Marcos Jr., 42,324; Alan Peter Cayetano, 23,713; Antonio Trillanes IV, 17,095; and Gregorio Honasan, 7,434.
Local political leaders attributed the close race between Roxas and Poe to the machinery of the administration party and the equally strong following of Salceda, who will represent the second congressional district in the next Congress. Mar S. Arguelles, Inquirer Southern Luzon
DAVAO DEL SUR
Detained winner needs court order
DIGOS CITY—Former governor Douglas Cagas, who has been in jail for over a year on a charge of killing a journalist in 2010, was proclaimed winner in the gubernatorial race over his closest rival, former vice governor Arsenio Latasa.
He can take his oath of office anytime but needs a court order for him to serve as provincial chief executive on July 1, according to Abito Bernasor, provincial officer of the Department of the Interior and Local Government.
Cagas who had served as governor for two terms up to 2010, has been accused of involvement in the murder of journalist Nestor Bedolido—a charge that he has repeatedly denied. Murder is a nonbailable offense.
Under the law, government executives who are in jail are considered incapacitated to perform their duties. Their deputies normally assume their posts.
If Cagas can not secure a decision granting him bail by the end of June, reelected Vice Gov. Aileen Almendras will most likely sit as acting governor, while the No. 1 board member-elect, Nonito Llanos III, will be acting vice governor. Orlando Dinoy, Inquirer Mindanao
Proclamation goes on, even in jail
ILIGAN CITY—Detained reelectionist Mayor Celso Regencia was proclaimed winner of Monday’s elections inside the city jail in Barangay Tipanoy by the city board of canvassers. He obtained 68,995 votes.
Regencia is accused of masterminding the 2014 ambush on Rep. Vicente Belmonte, resulting in the deaths of three of the lawmaker’s aides.
His running-mate, priest on-leave Jeemar Vera Cruz, was also voted into office.
Vera Cruz told the Inquirer that he would refuse the role of acting mayor if case Regencia is barred from functioning as mayor. Richel Umel, Inquirer Mindanao
Battle of Ampatuan relatives
COTABATO CITY—A son of the late Maguindanao Gov. Andal Ampatuan Sr., alleged mastermind in the poll-related killing of 54 media workers in 2009, has failed to wrest power from his cousin, a reelectionist mayor, in Monday’s elections.
On Tuesday, Comelec proclaimed Marop Ampatuan as the reelected mayor of Shariff Aguak, the capital town of Maguindanao, over Sajid Ampatuan, a former vice governor who is out on bail on multiple murder charges in connection with the so-called Maguindanao massacre.
Their relatives, Menzi Balabaran and Oping Ampatuan, also ran for mayor.
Sajid’s father and long-time political kingpin of Maguindanao died of liver cancer while in jail.
Marop’s father, Akmad, was reelected vice mayor, winning over five other candidates—Anhara Ampatuan, Kalim Santiago, Datu Puti Ampatuan, Mohammad Omar and Abby Aguak—who are all related by blood and by affinity to Andal Sr.
Bombings marred the election in Shariff Aguak, which the police and military blamed on supporters of some candidates. Edwin O. Fernandez, Inquirer Mindanao