BACOLOD CITY – Most of the top officials in Negros Occidental won their re-election bids.
Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson has once again been given the chance to serve the province for second term after garnering 933,572 votes against former Bacolod City administrator John Orola, who only got 57,701 votes while third challenger, independent candidate Maria Socorro Sibulan, received 16,534 votes.
Lacson has earlier declared his support to the presidential bid of Vice President Leni Robredo, and even joined the campaign sorties of the latter here and in the province.
Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer, who campaigned for UniTeam candidates Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Sara Duterte in the province, also secured a fresh mandate for a second term, after dominating the race with 816,938 votes against rival, independent candidate Jonry Gargarita with 70,374 votes.
Both were proclaimed by the Board of Canvassers at the Provincial Capitol here on Wednesday.
Despite their different presidential bets, both had earlier assured the Negrenses of their solid local coalition, as they respect each other’s choices.
Meanwhile, unopposed congressional candidates – incumbent Congressman Gerardo Valmayor of the 1st District, Sagay City Mayor and former representative Alfredo Marañon III of the 2nd District, incumbent Representative Juliet Marie Ferrer, wife of Vice Governor Ferrer, of the 4th District, and former deputy House Speaker Mercedes Alvarez of the 6th District, were also proclaimed winners.
Francisco Benitez, brother of Bacolod Mayor-elect Alfredo “Albee” Benitez, also won his reelection bid as representative of the 3rd District. He garnered 204,301 votes against Bernard Ferraris who only got 16,967 votes.
Albee Benitez’s son, Javi, also won as mayor of Victorias City, while his uncle, Jun Bantug, was elected vice mayor.
In the province’s fifth district, incumbent Representative Marilou Arroyo, sister-in-law of former president Gloria Arroyo and sister of the late Rep. Ignacio Arroyo, was defeated by former Vice Governor Emilio “Dino” Yulo III. Yulo garnered 118,558 votes, while Arroyo finished with 76,115 votes.
Also proclaimed winners by the Commission on Elections board of canvassers were Mayor Nicholas Yulo of Bago City, Mayor John Rey Tabujara of Cauayan town, Mayor Marvin Malacon of E.B. Magalona town, Mayor John Paul Alvarez of Ilog town, Mayor Manuel Escalante of Manapla town, Mayor Jose Maria Alonso of Pontevedra town, Enzo Suatengco of Pulupandan town, Vice Mayor Narciso Javelosa of Sagay City, Mayor Marxlen Dela Cruz of Don Salvador Benedicto town, Mayor Renato Gustilo of San Carlos City, and Mayor Gina Lizares of Sipalay City.
Other winning candidates also included Isabela Mayor Irene Montilla who won her reelection bid while her son, Juan Miguel Montilla was elected vice mayor.
In La Castellana town, Mayor Rhumyla Nicor-Mangilimutan was re-elected while her father, former Mayor Alberto Nicor Jr. was elected as vice mayor.
Binalbagan Mayor Alejandro Mirasol also succeeded in his reelection bid, while wife Mary Ann Mirasol won as vice mayor.
In Hinigaran town, Mayor Nadie Arceo was reelected, while wife Mary Grace Arceo was elected as vice mayor.
Unopposed sibling-candidates in Sipalay City, and towns of Ilog and Don Salvador Benedicto also won their re-election bids.
These are Mayor Ma. Gina Lizares and Vice Mayor Oscar Montilla Jr. of Sipalay City, Mayor Paul Alvarez and Vice Mayor Genaro Rafael Alvarez of Ilog town, and Mayor Marxlen Dela Cruz and Vice Mayor Nehemiah Dela Cruz Jr. of Don Salvador Benedicto town.
In Pulupandan town, Suatengco’s cousin incumbent Mayor Miguel Peña won as vice mayor without a challenger.
On the other hand, incumbent mayors – Mark Golez of Silay City and Pedro Zayco of Kabankalan City failed to win their re-election bids.
Golez, who was running for his third and final term, only got 34,725 votes, and lost to former vice mayor Joedith Gallego, who won with 37,643 votes.
Zayco lost to Barangay Tan-awan Kagawad Benjie Miranda, who finished with 36,889 votes against the former with 36,611 votes.