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Tomas Osmeña has slim lead in Cebu City race

() - May 19, 2001 - 12:00am
CEBU CITY — In a neck-and-neck battle for the city’s mayoralty post, former mayor Tomas Osmeña maintained a slim lead over his political rival, re-electionist Mayor Alvin Garcia.

This developed even as the Operation Quick Count of the Cebu-Citizens’ Involvement and Maturation in People’s Empowerment and Liberation (C-Cimpel) continued to be hampered by slow canvassing, due to lack of encoders and an increasing number of unreadable election returns.

The C-Cimpel-Namfrel was able to consolidate election returns from 1,639 precincts, which was already 78.46 percent of the total 2,089 precincts in the city.

As the counting neared to a close, Osmeña’s lead over Garcia was getting slimmer by 747 votes. Osmeña garnered 100,288 votes versus Garcia’s 99,541.

In the vice mayoralty race, BO-PK’s Michael Rama continued to increase his margin over his opponent, Kusug’s Rico Rey Francis Holganza.

Garcia took the lead momentarily for the first time, with 94,081 votes, a 32-vote difference over Osmeña’s 94,049.

Msgr. Roberto Alesna, C-Cimpel-Namfrel spokesman, blamed the snag in the counting of votes to the lack of volunteer-encoders who will handle the tabulations, and their continuing woes over unreadable sixth copies of the election returns.

Alesna said there were some student volunteers from the Junior Philippine Institute of Accounts, who did not return due to fatigue and conflicts in their school schedules.

In a press statement, C-Cimpel said it was able to encode 15 unreadable election returns after subjecting these to a thorough review.

C-Cimpel gave assurance that it has instituted strict measures that would preclude any possibility of tampering the count for or against any party or candidate.

Alesna, however, said that even if they are trying their best, they will find it difficult to reach their targeted 80 percent completion of the tabulation today.

But things might brighten up, according to Alesna, as C-Cimpel was allowed by the Commission on Elections to use the certificate of votes, provided it is signed by the members of the board of election inspectors, in place of the unreadable election returns they have received from different precincts since Monday night.

Tabulations showed Raul del Mar leading by more than 50,000 votes over his opponents, Florencio Villarin and Vicente Gonzalve Jr., in the north district’s congressional race.

The South district congressional race remained a tight race between Antonio Cuenco and Aristotle Batuhan, with Cuenco leading by only 1,522 votes. Freeman News Service

ALESNA ANTONIO CUENCO AND ARISTOTLE BATUHAN C-CIMPEL C-CIMPEL-NAMFREL EMPOWERMENT AND LIBERATION FLORENCIO VILLARIN AND VICENTE GONZALVE JR. FREEMAN NEWS SERVICE GARCIA INVOLVEMENT AND MATURATION JUNIOR PHILIPPINE INSTITUTE OF ACCOUNTS OSME
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