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Cebu News

Serge tops Senate race in Cebu

Kristine B. Quintas - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Re-electionist Senator Sergio "Serge" Osmeña III emerged as the top choice of the voters in Cebu Province during the May 9 elections. But, his 640,555 votes in Cebu were not enough to propel him to the winning circle in the senatorial race.

The votes do not include those from the independent cities of Lapu-Lapu and Cebu.

In 2010 elections, Osmeña placed 10th with winning votes of 22,482,062.  Of which, the Cebu statesman garnered 683,991 votes from Cebu. He is the grandson and namesake of the late President Sergio Osmeña Sr.

He ran as independent candidate, although adopted by the Liberal Party and the Partido ng Masang Pilipino. He has been in news headlines as the no-nonsense and erudite Senate Banking Committee chairman leading the investigation into the bizarre $81 million theft of Bangladesh state funds and its money laundering via Philippine bank and casino channels.

Cebu is the most populous province in the country, with at least 4.1 million (including those in the cities of Cebu, Lapu-Lapu, and Mandaue) as of the 2010 census.

It is also the most vote-rich province, with 2,722,288 registered voters in the 2016 national elections. The number includes the 630,003 voters in Cebu City.

This year, Cebu also voted for Senator Franklin Drilon (639,023), Joel Villanueva (581,783), Representative Emmanuel Pacquiao (580,289), Miguel Zubiri (578,168), Francis Pangilinan (537,986), Risa Hontiveros (528,865), Richard Gordon (513,542), Senator Vicente "Tito" Sotto III (489,141), Sherwin Gatchalian (464,391), Senator Ralph Recto (458,888) and Leila De Lima (458,280).

Osmeña was also the top choice among the re-electionist senators during the 2010 elections. Drilon followed with 592,775 votes, Recto (507,599), Zubiri (496,131), and Hontiveros (420,972).

Fortunately, Tito Sotto of the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC), grandson of the late former senator Vicente Yap Sotto, made it so far to the third spot with 16,833,032 votes.

Don Vicente is the main author of the Press Freedom Law (now known as the Sotto Law, Republic Act No. 53), which was passed in 1946. The law protects journalists from being compelled to name their sources.

Don Vicente is also known as "The Father of Cebuano Journalism, Language and Literature." Sotto family is one of the 75 "families of distinction" in Cebu.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is eyeing to proclaim all 12 winners in the senatorial race by Tuesday or Thursday next week. — (FREEMAN)

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