KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/13 May) – The Piñol brothers are losing their grip on North Cotabato.
In the gubernatorial race, outgoing first district Rep. Lala Talinio-Mendoza won by more than 37,000 votes against Vice Gov. Manny Piñol. Mendoza garnered 236,966 votes against Piñol’s 199,332.
In the second district congressional race, cable TV owner Nancy Catamco won against incumbent Rep. Bernardo Piñol Jr. of the Liberal Party. Catamco got 119,294 votes against Piñol’s 112,617 votes.
Based on the official results released today by the Provincial Board of Canvassers (PBOC), Mendoza won landslide in her Carmen hometown.
Mendoza and the other winning candidates in the vice-gubernatorial and congressional contests — all under the ruling Lakas-Kampi-CMD — were proclaimed earlier today by the Provincial Board of Canvassers at the provincial capitol complex.
Mendoza will now hold the position which Piñol held for nine years since 1998. The latter ended his three successive terms in 2007, and was thus forced to run as vice governor that year.
Mendoza’s running mate, former second district Rep. Gregorio Ipong, won landslide against his opponent, first district board member Romeo Arana of the Liberal Party.
Ipong got 252,945 votes as against Arana who only got 132,411 votes.
Cotabato Gov. Jesus Sacdalan won against former Rep. Anthony Dequina in the congressional race in the province’s first legislative district.
Piñol, however, is not bent on accepting defeat.
During his weekly radio program here, Piñol claimed there was massive cheating in the towns of Pikit, Carmen, and in Kabacan, municipalities where he lost considerably to Mendoza.
He said he already filed his protest at the Comelec office.
He said his petition includes affidavits executed by some members of the board of election inspectors (BEIs) claiming that they received money from some politicians just to ensure Mendoza’s win in last Monday’s elections.
Today, Piñol led a protest rally in Midsayap where he said the elections last Monday were marred with irregularities and massive vote buying.
He said after holding a rally in Midsayap town, rallies would be held in different towns in North Cotabato to show his disgust over the results of the automated elections. (Malu Cadeliña Manar / MindaNews)