The Osmeña vs. Almendras Congressional contest of 1969
CEBUPEDIA - Clarence Paul Oaminal (The Freeman) - April 15, 2014 - 12:00am

The contest for the 2nd Old Congressional District of Cebu (composed of Cebu City, Liloan, Mandaue City, Opon, now Lapu-Lapu City, Cordova, Compostela and Consolacion) was between John Henry "Sonny" R. Osmeña of the Liberal Party and Josefino "Pinong" Durano Almendras of the Nacionalista Party.

Sonny, the son of war hero Dr. Emilio V. Osmeña, the latter was the brother of the Liberal Party Presidential Candidate Sergio "Serging" Osmeña in the election held on November 11, 1969. Emilio and Serging were the sons of Don Sergio Osmeña. Serging in that election lost to Marcos, the Nacionalista Party's candidate, not only in other parts of the country but also in Cebu. In Cebu, Marcos got 156,091 votes while Osmeña got 117,283. In Danao City, Marcos got 15,416 while Osmeña got 877 votes.

Pinong (Josefino) of the Nacionalista Party was the son of Paulo Almendras (who served as Municipal President and Mayor of Danao) and Elisea Durano. The brother of Elisea was Ramon "Manoy Amon" M. Durano Sr., their father was Demetrio Tan Durano. Josefino is the father of Cabinet Secretary Jose Rene Almendras and Vice Governor Agnes Almendras-Magpale. Josefino, married to Rosita Dimataga, sister of Mariano Dimataga the last Municipal Mayor of Opon and First City Mayor of Lapulapu.

Josefino who lost in the election against Sonny filed on November 11, 1969 with the Court of First Instance of Cebu City a petition to order the Board of Canvassers of the Province of Cebu to annul the proclamation of winner. The petition of Josefino was joined by Bernardino Florido and Merilito Aznar. The ground for the declaration as null and void of the result of the election was on the allegation that an unruly mob attacked the Commission on Election office and that records were stolen and distributed to different polling precincts. Allegedly, 17,000 voters who were excluded by Judges Laya and Villasor were able to unlawfully vote. The alleged culprit was Eliseo Bianclaflor (Policy Adviser of Comelec) who gained entry of the Comelec Office. Judge Agapito Hontanosas issued the cease and desist order on December 3, 1969.

Sonny filed a petition before the Supreme Court questioning the order of the lower court. The Supreme Court issued a Temporary Restraining Order on December 23, 1969 against Branch XI of the Court of First Instance of Cebu City.

Almendras was represented by the brilliant lawyers identified with Marcos, they were Arturo Tolentino, Jose Zulueta, Manuel Zosa and Casimiro Madarang while Osmeña was represented by Salonga, Yap and Associates, and also by lawyers Pacquiao and Sitoy of Cebu.

The Supreme Court on January 22, 1970 issued its decision making the temporary restraining order permanent and ending the legal battle for the seat of the 2nd Congressional District of Cebu. The Provincial Board of Canvassers was ordered to convene and canvass the results not later than January 29, 1970.

In the Senatorial Election held on November 8, 1971 Sonny, who almost died in the Plaza Miranda bombing, won and placed third. Jovito Salonga topped with Genaro Magsaysay being second. Sonny was followed by Eddie Elarde, all of the Liberal Party.

In that election of 1971, the brother of Josefino, whose name was Alejandro who married Caridad Cabahug also won as senator placing 8th.

 

ARTURO TOLENTINO BERNARDINO FLORIDO AND MERILITO AZNAR BOARD OF CANVASSERS OF THE PROVINCE OF CEBU CEBU COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF CEBU CITY JOSEFINO NACIONALISTA PARTY OSME SUPREME COURT
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