Catarata, who lost to Galario in 2004 in an election marred by massive disenfranchisement of voters, dominated the poblacion barangays. But the incumbent appeared to be chipping the challenger’s margin little by little as the results from interior barangays came in.
The contest between Catarata and Galario is too close to call. In 2004, Galario edged out his rival by some 1,000 votes.
At least six ‘critical’ barangays of Valencia City held the counting of votes in the poblacion on orders of the Commission on Election.
Valencia, the first area in Bukidnon ever to be declared a hotspot, has been placed under Comelec control.
Galario courted controversy when he ordered the closure of a local radio station, Radyo Ukay, for airing commentaries critical of his administration.
Shortly before the start of the campaign period for local elections this year, the mayor was slapped a 60-day suspension. The sanction stemmed from a case filed by former city budget officer Ruth Piano, whom he transferred to another office and replaced with his own appointee.
In another development, Bukidnon 2nd District Rep. Teofisto Guingona III is poised to retain his position, based on partial results.
Guingona dominated Valencia, and the towns of Impasugong, San Fernando and Lantapan. He lagged behind former governor Ernesto Tabios in Malaybalay
City. But Tabios performed poorly in vote-rich Valencia, while Glen Galario, the mayor’s son, lagged behind in most areas except in Valencia where he
managed to give Guingona a decent fight.