BUTUAN CITY (MindaNews/13 May) — A doctor who is also a neophyte barangay captain has just won the mayoralty race in this city, effectively ending the 18-year reign of the Plazas.
The city’s Board of Canvassers (BOC) proclaimed Ampayon barangay chair Ferdinand Amante Jr of the Liberal Party as winner against former Mayor Leonides Theresa Plaza of the Lakas-Kampi CMD, wife of incumbent Mayor Democrito Plaza III.
Mayor Plaza could have run for a third term but for health reasons gave up the bid in favorof his wife.
In 2001, Leonides also ran for the city’s highest position since her husband was barred due to three-term constitutional limit. But, she served only one term because her husband ran and won again in 2004.
Amante, a practicing physician, garnered a total of 65,663 votes while Plaza got 56,763 votes. The newly elected mayor is also a first term barangay captain of vote-rich Ampayon.
Amante, however, also belongs to a family of politicians reigning over Agusan del Norte. His father and long-time politician Edelmiro Amante are brothers.
Also proclaimed winner on May 12 at the City’s session hall was Amante’s running mate, lawyer Lawrence Lemuel Fortun.
Fortun is the incumbent opposition city council member and son of the late Councilor Camilo Fortun, a popular opposition leader during the Marcos dictatorial regime.
Of the ten winners for the City Council, among them the Plazas’ son, Randolph, five are from the Liberal Party.
Reelectionist Butuan City Rep. Jose Aquino 11 (LKCMD) of the first congressional district also won against his political rival, lawyer Angelo Jimenez (LP).
The Barbers’ family in Surigao del Norte is also facing defeat.
Former three-term Governor Lyndon Barbers lost the mayoralty race of Surigao City. Proclaimed winners were Engr. Ernesto Matugas as mayor and lawyer Danilo Menor, vice mayor.
Matugas is brother of incumbent Surigao del Norte Rep. Francisco Matugas.
Incumbent Governor Robert Ace Barbers of the Nacionalista Party-Abante Surigao also appears headed for defeat.
As of the remaining count of the Provincial Board of Canvassers (PBOC) in Surigao del Norte, former Caraga regional director for Education Sol Matugas is leading over Barbers.
Sol is the wife of the 1st District Rep. Matugas who is also set to be proclaimed winner
Rep. Matugas enjoys a wide lead in an ongoing PBOC’s count over his rival Constantino Navarro III (NP), a political ally of the Barbers family,
Relectionist Rep. Guillermo Romarate, Jr. (Lakas-CMD) of the 2nd District of Surigao del Norte is also leading in the remaing count and is awaiting proclamation by the PBOC.
Romarate is way ahead rival Alfonso Casurra, outgoing three-term mayor and a close political ally of the Barbers brothers. (Alden Pantaleon, Jr.,/MindaNews)