Zubiris firm up control over Bukidnon

 His son, Jose Ma. III, also won as representative for Bukidnon's 3rd district.

The governor's nephew, Iñaki, also won as vice mayor over former mayor Nicholas Jurolan in Malaybalay City.

The victory of the Zubiris of Southern Bukidnon ushered in the defeat of its arch-rival, the Acostas of Northern Bukidnon.

None of the Acostas won. Rep. Acosta’s mother, Socorro, failed in her reelection bid for mayor and has bid politics goodbye in favor of retirement while his sister Malou lost to Zubiri’s bet, Candido Pancrudo, by 121 votes. A day after the polling, former elections commissioner Virgilio Garcillano conceded defeat.

Malou is reportedly filing an election protest. .

Rep. Acosta had also conceded defeat but hinted he may run again for the governorship in 2010. Gov. Zubiri will end his last three-year term in 2010.

Rep. Acosta's running mate, Ricardo Doydora, also lost to Vice Governor Alex Calingasan, Zubiri's mate, by a similar margin.

Acosta, in his post-election radio message in Cebuano, thanked the people of Bukidnon for their support "despite reports of cheating, questions on corruption…"

He congratulated "all winners" but did not name the Zubiris.

He said new politics depends on the people but he stressed that there is so much left for reform in local politics.

Zubiri's allies also won in the provincial board.

Another Zubiri critic, Valencia City Mayor Jose M. Galario, Jr. lost to former vice mayor  Leandro Jose Catarata with a narrow margin.

Zubiri backed Catarata in this elections. In 2001, Catarata run under former Bukidnon Gov. Carlos Fortich as his running mate in Valencia City. Zubiri supported Galario then.

Galario's son, Glenn lost to incumbent 2nd district Rep. Teofisto Guingona III. Guingona's closest contender, however, was Zubiri's bet, businessman Roderico Bioco.  (Walter I. Balane/MindaNews)