Darlene leads vs Pacman in initial count

According to the partial and unofficial count of election watchdog National Movement for Free Elections (Namrel), as of 8 a.m., with 12.25% of the votes tabulated, Rep. Darlene Antonino-Custodio bot 8,851 votes against Manny Pacquiao’s 4,730 and perennial candidate Teodolo Garay, with 79 votes. 

The votes came from 179 precincts of the total 1,461 precincts in the city. Results from the other towns in the first district like Polomolok, Tupi and Tampakan have yet to be included.

The local Commission on Elections here has yet to tabulate the election returns due to questions fielded by lawyers from both sides 

Father Angel Buenavides, spokesperson of the Diocese of Marbel, said the Namfrel  quick count for the first district is expected to be finished by Wednesday.

“We have monitored, as usual, voters’ disenfranchisement. Vote buying? It has been around even before the start of the campaign period,” he told reporters 

In Sarangani province and this city, barangay captains were promised development projects in the amount of P2 million by a political party should its candidates be voted straight in the village, the priest said.

But he noted the political maturity of voters, especially in the national level, citing the poor showing of actors Richard Gomez and Cesar Montano in the partial and unofficial Namfrel count held at the Notre Dame of Dadiangas University.

“It appears, based on initial results, that popularity is not anymore a factor to win,” he stressed but added, the results also showed a strong anti-Arroyo sentiment in the locality.

“At the most, three TU (Team Unity) candidates can enter the Magic 12 in the city,” he sad.i

Genuine Opposition (GO) bet Antonio Trillanes, detained on rebellion charges, is making a surprise showing here with his inclusion in the Magic 12, as well as independent candidate Gregorio Honasan, a former senator out on bail also for rebellion charges.

The other GO candidates in the first 12 are Loren Legarda, Manuel Villar, Francis Escudero, Allan Peter Cayetano, Panfilo Lacson and Aquilino Pimentel III.

Independent candidate Francis Pangilinan is also favored by the voters here, he said.

In South Cotabato, the provincial Namfrel is expecting to begin their quick count Thursday evening, since the results from the municipalities are still being tabulated by volunteers.

Meanwhile, unidentified men lobbed a grenade Monday night at an electric substation in Ligtas Subdivision, Barangay Cannery in Polomolok town, apparently to disrupt counting in the locality, said Senior Supt. Robert Kiunisala.

“The explosion damaged the post but did not interrupt electricity,” he said

In Koronadal, power was interrupted for about 20 minutes after a power station in Barangay Matulas became “overloaded,” the police official said. (MindaNews)