Cruz was originally a member of the opposition when he started his political career as councilor and when he was elected mayor in 2004. This year, he shifted political party behind the government-backed Team Unity, to run with a close relative and congressional aspirant Nikki Badelles in Lanao's 1st District. Badelles is a daughter of three-term congressman Mariano Badelles.
Nevertheless, Cruz was still considered as "guest candidate" of the Genuine Opposition (GO) party.
As of 11 a.m., the media count reported that Cruz garnered 20,850 votes against his opponents — former city mayors Franklin Quijano (Lakas-CMD)- 6,494 and Alejo Yanez 1,746.
Oozing with confidence, Cruz also expressed gratitude to local policemen for "pre-emptive and 24-hour security measures before and on actual election day."
"They have done an overnight patrol in all barangays of the city," he said.
He also thanked his political rivals "for bearing the importance of peace and order."
He also announced his development agenda, promising more job opportunities to unemployed residents of the city.
"When Gaisano Mall will be done by August, other malls will be constructed here," he said.
In a 52-page Mayor's Report he distributed to select residents in Iligan prior to election, he bared his accomplishments in the past three years.
These include a P445 M-worth water system; increase of commercial investors like the five-storey Gaisano Mall; facilitation of overseas job opportunities; entry of multinational corporations in partnership with local farmers for papaya and coffee plantations; animal dispersal and livelihood assistance to poor but deserving families.
Cruz also endeavored to resolve garbage problems in Barangay Santiago. He also said he increased the capability of policemen for security by providing them incentives, trainings and vehicles.