Victory for Cua’s team
posted 16-May-2019  ·  
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Defying predictions of a close race, reelectionist Governor Joseph Cua handily trounced Congressman Cesar Sarmiento in last Monday’s elections and towed to victory his team mates: congressional bet Hector Sanchez and reelectionist Vice Governor Shirley Abundo.

As of 6 A.M. Tuesday, May 14, 2019, with 99.72 percent of election returns tallied by the Commission on Elections, Cua had 85,306 votes for a margin of over 25,000 votes over Sarmiento.

The governor, who is serving a one-year suspension meted by the Ombudsman just weeks before the polls, won in 10 of the 11 towns, taking even the congressman’s vaunted bailiwicks of Baras, Bato and Virac. He won by over 5,500 votes in the capital town and by a whopping 11,245 votes in his hometown of San Andres.

Keeping close to the chief executive in the homestretch of the campaign helped Sanchez overtake the previous frontrunner, former Gov. Araceli Wong, who lost by 12,000 votes to the electrical engineer-turned-contractor. Atty. Sarmiento was third in the race with just over 40,000 votes, with former Rep. Joseph Santiago at the rear with less than 6,000 votes.

Vice Gov. Abundo, on the other hand, got the nod of 104,000 voters, with her token opposition getting not even 20 percent of the total votes cast.

Elected to the provincial board were incumbent PBMs Lorenzo Templonuevo Jr., Arnel Turado, Rafael Zuniega, Giovanni Balmadrid and Natalio Popa Jr., who were joined by Panganiban Mayor Robert Fernandez, former Virac Mayor Santos Zafe and former PBM Edwin Tanael.

In the mayoral races in the 11 towns, six of the 10 reelectionist mayors went down in defeat, with only Mayor Peter Cua of San Andres, Mayor Francisco Camano Jr. of San Miguel, and Mayor Emeterio Tarin of Viga surviving the onslaught of challengers. Bagamanoc Mayor Remegio Villaluna ran unopposed while the mayoral seat of Panganiban was up for grabs as the incumbent is on his third and final term.

The most spectacular victory was scored in Virac by 2016 runner-up Atty. Sinforoso Sarmiento, who banked on his vow of a pro-poor administration to edge incumbent Mayor Samuel Laynes by over 1,600 votes.

In Bato, the political rigodon in the mayorship continued with Mayor Eulogio Rodriguez ousted by former Mayor Juan Rodulfo by 626 votes in a race marked by vote-buying of as much as P2,500 per voter.

First-termer Mayor Raul Tabirara of Pandan lost his reelection bid to first-time candidate Honesto Tabligan II by 723 votes while in Caramoran, Mayor Agnes Popa was defeated by Vice Mayor Glenda Aguilar in a four-way race.

Barasnons chose youth over experience, with Paolo Teves, son of former Vice Gov. Jose Teves Jr., dealing former Teves ally Mayor Chito Chi a bitter loss. In the neighboring  town of Gigmoto, the citizens chose former DILG staffer Vicente Tayam Jr. over veteran reelectionist Armando Guerrero.

In the lone race that did not feature an incumbent chief executive, former Councilor Cesar Robles was the easy winner over former PBM and long-time mayor Gregorio Angeles, and retired educator Edgardo Morales.

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