Belmonte, GMA lead 100 House returnees
Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) - May 10, 2016 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. and former president and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo are among more than 100 members of the House of Representatives seeking reelection who have either been proclaimed or are en route to victory.

Belmonte, who won by a landslide over his opponent, and five congressional winners in Quezon City were scheduled to be proclaimed by the city board of canvassers yesterday.

The other winners are Winnie Castelo, Bingbong Crisologo, Christopher Belmonte, Alfred Vargas and Jorge John Banal. Castelo, Christopher Belmonte, Vargas and Banal were unopposed.

Of the six Quezon City representatives, only Crisologo is not an incumbent.

In Mandaluyong City, the board of canvassers has proclaimed incoming congresswoman Queenie Gonzales, who replaces her husband, Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II.

Also proclaimed was Mark Villar, who won his third and last term as representative of the lone district of Las Piñas City.

The other incumbents who have been declared winners or are leading in Metro Manila include Sandy Ocampo and Carlo Lopez of Manila, Eric Olivarez and Gustavo Tambunting of Parañaque City, Emi Calixto-Rubiano of Pasay City, Romero Quimbo of Marikina City, Edgar Erice of Caloocan City and Tobias Tiangco of Navotas City.

Leading in Muntinlupa City and Navotas City are former congressmen Ruffy Biazon and Ricky Sandoval, respectively. The two are facing criminal charges before the Sandiganbayan.

In Valenzuela City, one of the two winning congressional candidates is Wesley Gatchalian, brother of reelected Mayor Rex Gatchalian and senatorial aspirant and outgoing Rep. Sherwin Gatchalian.

In Makati City, Luis Campos, the husband of mayor-elect and outgoing congresswoman Abigail Binay, is leading over his closest opponent.

In San Juan, Rep. Ronaldo Zamora appears to be winning over his opponent. However, his son Francis, who is vice mayor, was trailing incumbent Guia Gomez in the mayoral race.

The winning incumbents in Northern Luzon and Cagayan Valley include Imelda Marcos and Rodolfo Fariñas of Ilocos Norte; Eric Singson of Ilocos Sur; Jesus Celeste, Leopoldo Bataoil, Rose Marie Arenas and Marlyn Primicias-Agabas of Pangasinan; Aline Vargas Alfonso and Randolph Ting of Cagayan; Napoleon Dy, Rodolfo Albano III and Ana Cristina Go of Isabela.

In Pangasinan, the Cojuangcos appeared to have been wiped out by the Espinos.

Outgoing Gov. Amado Espino Jr. was leading incumbent Rep. Kimi Cojuangco in the fifth district, while his son Amado III was ahead of Cojuangco’s husband Mark, a former congressman.

In Tarlac, Mark’s brother Charlie, a former Negros Occidental lawmaker, is set to be proclaimed as one of the province’s representatives.

In Pampanga, Arroyo was unopposed. In the second district, former congressman Aurelio Gonzales Jr. was ahead of incumbent Rep. Oscar Rodriguez.

In Bataan, transgender Geraldine Roman led her opponent. Another leading candidate is Joet Garcia, younger brother of incumbent Gov. Abet Garcia. Their father, Enrique, is set to become vice governor.

Among the other winning incumbents in Central Luzon are Rimpy Bondoc of Zambales and Jeffrey Khonghun and Cheryl Deloso-Montalla of Zambales.

In Cavite, incumbents Francis Gerald Abaya, Alex Advincula, Roy Loyola, Luis Ferrer and Abrahan Tolentino are headed for victory.

Outgoing Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. of Dasmariñas City was elected mayor, replacing his wife Jenny, who was elected congresswoman. The city board of canvassers proclaimed the Barzagas at 2 a.m. yesterday.

In Batangas, Reps. Eileen Ermita-Buhain and Ranie Abu appeared headed for another term. One winning neophyte there is outgoing Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto.

In Quezon, Rep. Helen Tan of the fourth district was ahead of former congressman Erin Tañada by about 72,000 votes. Another former lawmaker in the province, Danilo Suarez, will replace his wife Aleta. Their son David is the governor.

Among the winners in the Bicol region are former congressman Edcel Lagman and outgoing Gov. Joey Salceda of Albay, incumbent Rolando Andaya Jr. and former speaker Arnulfo Fuentebella of Camarines Sur, and Reps. Evelina Escudero and Deogracias Ramos Jr. of Sorsogon.

In the Visayas, the winning incumbents include Albee Benitez and Mercedes Alvarez of Negros Occidental; Gwen Garcia, Gerald Anthony Gullas and Benhur Salimbangong of Cebu; Arthur Yap, Rene Relampagos and Erico Aristotle Aumentado of Bohol; Arthur Defensor of Iloilo and Ben Evardone of Eastern Samar.

In Lanao del Norte, Abdullah Dimaporo, who is detained on graft charges pending with the Sandiganbayan, appeared to have won a new term. His son Khalid and wife Imelda were on the way to victory as congressman and governor, respectively.

The winning incumbents in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) include Bai Sandra Sema and Zajid Mangudadatu of Maguindanao, Tupay Loong of Sulu and Ruby Sahali of Tawi-Tawi.

Rep. Jim Hataman of Basilan was elected governor of his province, while his brother Mujiv, incumbent ARMM governor, won a new term by a landslide.

Many congressional winners who are not incumbents are former House members.

They include Pantaleon Alvarez and Antonio Floirendo Jr. of Davao del Norte, Prospero Pichay Jr. of Surigao del Sur, Ace Barbers of Surigao del Norte, Mayo Almario of Davao Oriental.

Records from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) showed Arroyo and Pampanga Gov. Lilia Pineda were among the 558 candidates from known political clans who ran unopposed.

Arroyo ran unopposed in the second congressional district of Pampanga while Pineda won another term as governor of the province.

Aside from Arroyo and Pineda, other unopposed candidates from a political clan in Bataan are Albert Raymond Garcia who ran for a gubernatorial seat and Jose Enrique Garcia III who sought a congressional seat for the second district.

Paolo Duterte, the son of winning presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte, also ran unopposed in Davao City’s vice mayoralty race.

Of the total unopposed candidates, 30 ran for congressmen, 204 for municipal mayors, 237 for municipal vice mayors, 21 for city mayors, 23 for city vice mayors, one for city councilor, eight for governors, 11 for vice provincial governors and eight for Sangguniang Panlalawigan (provincial board members).

The Ilocos region had the most number of unopposed candidates with 66, followed by those from the ARMM with 64 and Western Visayas with 57. – Mayen Jaymalin

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