Political clans dominate local polls
(The Philippine Star) - May 10, 2016 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines – There were some new faces, but members of political families dominated the local elections.

Among them were three new governors of Central Luzon – Amor Deloso of Zambales, Susan Yap-Sulit of Tarlac and Abet Garcia of Bataan – who were proclaimed by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) yesterday.

Deloso defeated Gov. Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. while Sulit won against Tarlac Mayor Ace Manalang.

Four other members of the Garcia clan won the elections in Bataan, including Enrique Garcia as congresman of the second district and Balanga Mayor Jose Enrique Garcia of the second district.

The Comelec also proclaimed Pampanga Gov. Lilia Pineda, who ran unopposed, as well as Bulacan Gov. Wilhelmino Sy Alvarado and Aurora Gov. Gerardo Noveras.

Pangasinan pols

In Pangasinan, Gov. Amado Espino was elected congressman of the fifth district.

Third district Rep. Rosemarie Arenas and Leopoldo Bataoil of the second district also won in their reelection bids.

Christopher “Toff” de Venecia of the Liberal Party, son of former House speaker Jose de Venecia and Pangasinan Rep. Gina de Venecia and The STAR’s Young Star editor, was proclaimed congressman of the fourth district of Pangasinan.

De Venecia garnered 92.5 percent of the 170,916 votes cast based on partial, unofficial results.

“I was really guided by my experience in The Philippine Star in going around the district and in getting to know the people because whenever I asked them about their concerns, it was always with curiosity and passion,” De Venecia said.

He said he hopes to be back soon in The STAR as columnist but not to write about politics.

Padaca loses to Dy

Isabela Gov. Faustino Dy III won by 250,000 votes against former Commission on Elections commissioner Maria Gracia Cielo Padaca.

Dy of the Nationalist People’s Coalition got 416,037 votes compared to Padaca’s 131,049 votes.

Padaca conceded defeat, but said she did not regret running because she wanted to give the voters of Isabela an option.

Dy’s runningmate Antonio Albano got 380,333 votes. Albano’s brother Rodolfo III also won as congressman in the first district of Isabela.

Ortegas, Abad

The Ortegas still hold power in La Union after seven of their 11 candidates emerged as winners.

Among them are San Fernando Mayor Pablo Ortega, who won as congressman in the first district and Abono party-list Rep. Francisco Emmanuel Ortega III, who won as governor.

Rep. Henedina Abad led administration candidates who won in Batanes.

Marilou Cayco of the Liberal Partydefeated Batanes Gov. Vicente Gato in the gubernatorial race.

Richard, Lucy win

Actor Richard Gomez and his wife Lucy Torres-Gomez were also successful in their bids in Leyte.

Gomez was proclaimed mayor of Ormoc City. He  garnered 52,713 votes – an 8,781 lead over Mayor Edward Codilla.

It was Gomez’s second run for mayor of Ormoc. In 2013, he lost by 2,200 votes to Codilla.

Meanwhile, Lucy Gomez garnered 132,565 votes, or a lead of 52,713 votes over Codilla’s wife Violeta.

Lucy said the “true voice of the people prevailed,” adding that she looked forward to working with her husband for Ormoc’s progress and development.

“This is my third election…I am happy with the trust they have given Richard because I know he will be a good mayor,” she said.

Leyte, Samar

Yedda Romualdez, wife of outgoing congressman Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, won as congresswoman in the first district of Leyte.

Former Court of Appeals justice Ching Veloso won over Tingting Salvacion as congressman of the third district while Rep. Sergio Apostol won in his reelection bid in the second district.

In Eastern Samar, Gov. Conrad Nicart won over former immigration commissioner and congressman Marcelino Libanan.

Rep. Ben Evardone also won against Annalis Cuan in the lone district of Eastern Samar.

Iloilo politics

The Defensors and Tupases also dominated the elections in Iloilo.

Arthur Defensor Sr. was reelected as governor while his sons Arthur Jr. and Lorenz were elected congressman of the third congressional district and provincial board, respectively.

Vice Gov. Raul Tupas won in the fifth congressional district against his sister-in-law Gel Tupas. His brothers Niel and Nielo III also won in their congressional bids.

Bacolod City Rep. Evelio Leonardia was elected mayor of Bacolod with 120,231 votes or a lead of 22,238 over Mayor Monico Puentevella. – Ding Cervantes, Lalaine Jimenea, Raymund Catindig, Danny Dangcalan, Eva Visperas, Miriam Desacada, Jennifer Rendon, Jun Elias, Ric Sapnu, Cesar Ramirez, Raffy Viray, Jack Castano

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