MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/10 May) — Familiar names in Bukidnon will remain in public office for at least the next three years, but two small-town dynasties in the province suffered a reversal in Monday’s polls.
Incumbent Gov. Jose Ma. R. Zubiri Jr. was enjoying a wide margin over closest rival Fr. Diosdado Tabios.
Zubiri had 371,896 votes while Tabios had 88,584 votes as of 5:32pm, according to the Commission on Elections-GMA7 Mirror Server.
But his running mate, Rogelio Quino was having a neck and neck battle with Arlyn Ayon.
Quino, incumbent mayor of Manolo Fortich town, had 180,795 votes. Ayon, a former councilor of Valencia City, had 179,522 votes. The count was based on reports from 92.93% of the precincts.
Clive Quino, younger brother of Rogelio, won as mayor of Manolo Fortich over Johnny Albarece, a former mayor.
In San Fernando town, the Edma family has retained control with the reelection of Mayor Levi Edma Sr. He and his wife have alternated as mayor the past years.
In Libona town, incumbent Mayor Leonardo Calingasan has been reelected.
His father, incumbent Vice Gov. Alex Calingasan is leading the race for Sangguniang Panlalawigan in the First District.
The elder Calingasan also served as mayor of Libona before becoming vice governor and won as governor for one term, from 2010-2013.
Some old names ran unopposed in Monday’s elections — Malaybalay City Mayor Ignacio Zubiri, nephew of the governor; Malaybalay Vice Mayor Roland Detecio, who served as provincial board member from 2001-2010, and city councilor from 2010-2013..
For the congressional races, incumbent 2nd District Rep. Florencio Flores Jr. is unopposed in his bid for a third consecutive term.
In the 1st District, incumbent Rep. Malou Acosta-Alba already had over 100,000 votes while his two opponents only had less than 4,000 votes each.
Acosta-Alba’s mother, Socorro Acosta, had served as congresswoman of the 1st District and mayor of Manolo Fortich. Her brother, Nereus Acosta, had served as provincial board member and representative of the same district.
Manuel Zubiri, a son of the governor, was poised to win as congressman of the 3rd District. He will replace his brother, Joey Zubiri, who is on his third term.
Juan Miguel Zubiri, who is likely to land in the top six in the senatorial race, served as congressman of the same district from 1998-2007.
Their father was the 3rd District congressman from 1987-1998. He also became a member of the Marcos-era Batasang Pambansa.
Meanwhile, two families that had dominated previous elections in their towns tasted defeat on Monday — the Okinlay family of Impasugong and Baula family of Sumilao.
Impasugong councilor Julia Okinlay, a Zubiri ally, lost the mayoralty race to incumbent Mayor Anthony Uy.
Okinlay served as mayor from 2007-2010, replacing her husband, Mario Okinlay, who was mayor from 1998-2007.
Mario again won as mayor in 2010 and in 2013. However, he was ambushed in July 2014 by suspected New People’s Army rebels. Then vice mayor Uy became mayor by law of succession.
Mario’s brother, Vice Mayor Dodo Okinlay, also lost to Councilor Ma. Norly Pepito.
In neighboring Sumilao town, incumbent Mayor Rey Baula lost to Jose Antonio Villo by 346 votes.
Baula completed three terms as mayor from 1992-2001. His wife, Marie Ann Baula, replaced him from 2001-2010. He won back his post in 2010 and was reelected in 2013.
Rey’s brother, Remee Baula, served as mayor of Impasugong from 1988-1998, and as provincial board member from 1998-2001. (H. Marcos C. Mordeno/MindaNews)