Toss coin lands Pacquiao’s brother a seat in GenSan council

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/19 December) — World boxing icon and Sarangani Rep. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao’s younger brother Rogelio would have preferred a clear knockout win but will nonetheless take one from a “lucky punch” any day.

The younger Pacquiao, who is chair of Barangay Apopong here, did just that in winning his second attempt on Wednesday to lead the city’s Liga ng mga Barangay or Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) and land an ex-officio seat at the city council.

Rilimin Sandoval, acting city director of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), proclaimed Pacquiao as the city’s new ABC federation president after winning a toss coin over incumbent Lourdes Casabuena of Barangay City Heights.

She said the two barangay officials agreed to the coin flipping after receiving 13 votes each in the initial canvassing of the ABC federation election held at the Mt. Sabrina Resort here.

All 26 barangay chairs of the city participated in the voting, which was administered by the DILG through secret balloting, she said.

Coin tossing is one form of “drawing of lots” that is allowed under the Omnibus Election Code in the settlement of electoral ties.

Section 240 of the code provides that “in cases of ties for the highest number of votes, or in cases where two or more candidates are to be elected for the same position, drawing of lots could be done.”

The “drawing of lots” could be done coin toss, drawing of straws or cards from a pack or bingo balls.

“I can’t believe na ako ang mananalo sa toss coin (I can’t believe that I would win the toss coin),” a beaming Pacquiao told reporters after his “lucky win.”

“I will unite the 26 barangay captains to ensure sustained progress and development in the city,” he added.

Pacquiao challenged Casabuena, who is a former three-term city councilor, for the same post in 2010 but fell short by two votes, losing the official count 12-14.

Casabuena is a stalwart of the Achiever’s with Integrity Movement (AIM), a local political party founded by former City Mayor Darlene Antonino-Custodio’s father Adelbert, while Pacquiao was backed by his brother’s People’s Champ Movement (PCM).

Prior to Wednesday’s ABC federation election, she said 14 barangays chairs had signified to support her reelection bid but one of them did not honor the commitment.

“I should say there was also an effort from the other side to really convince some members of my group to switch sides,” she said.

Casabuena claimed she received text messages detailing a supposed monetary offer from the Pacquiao camp in exchange for support but stressed that not one from her group accepted it.

Pacquiao, who will assume as city council member in its regular session next week, did not issue any comment on the matter.

Fourteen of the city’s 26 newly-elected barangay chairs were known allies of AIM while the remaining 12 were linked to the PCM.

In the last May local and national midterm elections, then incumbent mayor Custodio lost her post to now City Mayor Ronnel Rivera of the PCM.

PCM fielded the younger Pacquiao to challenge incumbent Rep. Pedro Acharon Jr. of South Cotabato’s first congressional district but eventually lost by around 7,700 votes. (MindaNews)