GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/11 May) – The political landscape here and in nearby South Cotabato has not changed much following Monday’s elections as the same familiar faces and family names dominated anew the race for various top posts in the area.
Outgoing South Cotabato (1st District) Rep. Darlene Antonino-Custodio will still be much around after her third straight three-year term ends in June with another convincing win now looming in the mayoralty race here.
Custodio, who ran under the Achievers with Integrity Movement-Liberal Party (AIM-LP) coalition, already garnered 80,133 votes based on the Commission on Elections (Comelec) partial and official count as of 3pm Tuesday from 334 of the city’s 347 clustered precincts.
Her closest rival, outgoing Vice Mayor Florentina Congson of the People’s Champ Movement-Nacionalista Party (PCM-NP) coalition, so far received 27,611 votes while former Mayor Rosalita Nunez of PDP-Laban got 24,859.
But in the vice mayoral race, former City Councilor Shirlyn Banas-Nograles of PCM-NP is leading the pack with 64,936 votes while Custodio’s running mate Jose Orlando Acharon is trying to catch up with 63,873.
Former General Santos and Sultan Kudarat police chief retired Senior Supt. Benhur Mongao of PDP-Laban is way behind with only 8,458 votes.
In the race for the first congressional district seat of South Cotabato, outgoing Mayor Pedro Acharon Jr. of AIM-Nationalist People’s Coalition (AIM-NPC) has maintained a lead of more than 60,000 votes against closest rival outgoing City Councilor Ramon Milleza.
In the second district of South Cotabato, outgoing Gov. Daisy Avance-Fuentes of NPC is now almost sure of reclaiming her previous seat in the House of Representatives after posting 122,587 votes while rival former Gov. Hilario de Pedro III of Lakas-Kampi-CMD only managed to get 75,000 votes so far.
The results were based on 82 percent of the total votes cast from the province’s second congressional district.
In the gubernatorial race, partial and official results showed outgoing South Cotabato (2nd District) Rep. Arthur Pingoy Jr. of Lakas-Kampi-CMD moving over to the provincial capitol after receiving 113,860 votes against the 101,484 votes garnered by former Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority deputy senior administrator Ferdinand Hernandez of NPC.
Trailing them is outgoing Koronadal City Mayor Fernando Miguel of Puwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) who only posted around 70,000 votes.
But in the mayoralty race in Koronadal, Miguel will be relinquishing his post in July to his anointed successor, his son Peter, who was proclaimed winner by the Comelec Tuesday afternoon.
The younger Miguel, who also ran under the PMP, received 31,531 votes while his closest rival, incumbent Vice Mayor Vicente de Jesus, got 22,313.
Outgoing South Cotabato Vice Gov. Eliordo Ogena is bringing his legislative experience to the city council after winning as Vice Mayor with 21,619 votes.(Allen V. Estabillo/MindaNews)