• Reelectionists dominate regions

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    The majority of the incumbent local candidates in various regions were given fresh mandates in what the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) called a generally peaceful conduct of the synchronized elections on Monday, with a high percentage turnout of voters.

    Olongapo City Mayor Rolen Paulino was reelected to a second term after a landslide victory over James “Bong” Gordon Jr., with 66,815 total votes against the latter’s 20,002 total votes.

    The Paulino victory was significant, as he was the only politician who has broken the hold of the Gordons in local politics.

    Jong Cortez, Paulino’s running mate and incumbent councilor, who challenged Vice Mayor Rodel Cerezo, also emerged victorious, garnering 47,704 total votes against Cerezo’s 34,932 total votes.

    Eight of nine candidates for councilors under Paulino’s ticket – Lugie Lipumano; BJ Cajudo; Noel Atienza; Ed Guerrero; Winnie Ortiz; Edna Elane; Linus Bacay and Bas Palo – also won.

    Meanwhile, incumbent Zambales’ first district Rep. Jeffrey Khonghun was also re-elected to a second term.

    The tandem of two powerful political clans in the province proved too strong for incumbent Gov. Hermogenes Ebdane Jr. and Vice Gov. Ramon Lacbain 2nd, both losing against former governor Amor Deloso and Angel Magsaysay as vice governor.

    In the province of Cavite, Crispin “Boying” Remulla, brother of outgoing Gov. Jonvic Remulla, won as governor, while, incumbent Vice Gov. Ramon Jolo Revilla was also reelected.

    Partial results in the city of Imus have reelectionist Manny Maliksi as mayor, while Bacoor second district Rep. Lani Mercado-Revilla was elected mayor of Bacoor City, replacing her brother-in-law, outgoing Mayor Edwin “Strike” Revilla, who will be replacing her in Congress.

    Over in Quezon province, the majority of the incumbent officials retained their positions, with an 89.02 percent vote turnout representing 842,055 votes out of 1,124,090 registered voters.

    Incumbent Gov. David Suarez (UNA) will serve his third term until 2019 after besting four other aspirants. Vice Gov. Samuel Nantes (LP) also got his second term, defeating Anacleto Alcala Jr. and actor Gary Estrada, who served as board member for six years.

    For the congressional seats: Trina Enverga for the first district; Vicente Alcala for the second district; returning representatives Danilo Suarez for the third district and Erin Tañada for the fourth district.

    In Lucena City, incumbent Mayor Roderick Alcala also retained his post.

    Over in Leyte, actor Richard Gomez finally won the mayoralty race in Ormoc City after two defeats. His running mate, incumbent Vice Mayor Leo Carmelo Locsin Jr., was also reelected along with eight councilors in their ticket.

    Gomez’ wife, incumbent fourth district of Leyte Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez, also won overwhelmingly against Violita Trangia-Codilla, wife of incumbent Mayor Edward Codilla, who was defeated by the actor.

    Gomez ran under the Nationalist Peoples Coalition of Sen. Grace Poe, but realigned with Davao City Mayor Rody Duterte’s PDP-Laban.

    City Comelec Registrar, lawyer Ramon Dadulla Jr., Chief City Prosecutor Marcelo Oñate and DepEd Division Supt. Albert Escobarte proclaimed Gomez on Tuesday.

    In the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), reelectionists Gov. Mujiv Hataman and Vice Gov. Haroun Al-Rashid Lucman also led by huge margins contenders Sakur Tan and Binladen Sharief, respectively. Tan bolted from the Liberal Party and ran against Hataman.

    On the provincial level, Hataman Salliman Jim in Basilan; Soraya Adiong in Lanao del Sur; Esmael Mangudadatu in Maguindanao; and Abdusakur Tan II in Sulu, with their vice governors, were leading in the partial counts, except for their contenders in Tawi-Tawi.

    ARMM has 1,863,230 registered voters, but only about 60 percent cast their votes owing to security threats, including the never-ending election-related violence that has been taking place in the region for decades.

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