DAVAO CITY – The Third District of Cotabato province will be represented by Samantha Taliño Santos, who, at 25, is likely to become the youngest member of House of Representatives at least in Mindanao, if not in the country.
Santos garnered 116, 869 votes from the six towns of the third district as she beat Nelda Tejada who received 69,654 votes and Rene Roldan who got 15,156 votes.
Santos is a daughter of incumbent vice governor Emmylou Taliño-Mendoza, who is also set to return as governor of the province.
The Commission on Elections has proclaimed both of them on Wednesday.
On her Facebook Page, Santos thanked her supporters saying they have now reaped the fruits of their sacrifices during the campaign.
“Ang tagumpay pong ito ay hindi lamang tagumpay ko kundi tagumpay nating lahat. Tagumpay ito ng ikatlong distrito ng Cotabato! (This victory does not belong to me alone; it belongs to all of us. This is a victory for the whole third district of Cotabato),” she wrote on her FB account.
Santos finished Bachelor of Arts with majors in Anthropology and Sociology at the University of Melbourne in Australia in 2018 and is currently completing Masters in Development Studies in the same university.
She is set to become the second elected representative of the third district since it was created in 2013.
The neophyte congresswoman-elect, who hails from Carmen town, will succeed incumbent Rep. Jose Tejada, husband of her defeated opponent Nelda.
At 25, Santos could easily become the youngest member of the lower house, one year younger than Sarah Elago, who was 26 years old when she entered the house of Representatives for her first term during the 2016 elections.
The third district of Cotabato is composed of the towns of Banisilan, Carmen, Kabacan, Matalam, Mlang and Tulunan that were carved out from the first district of the province.