Fuentes concedes in major upset in South Cotabato’s political landscape

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KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/14 May) – Reelectionist South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance Fuentes conceded defeat Tuesday noon, a major upset in the political landscape of the province which she led either as governor and Congressional representative in the past 27 years.

Partial and unofficial results showed Fuentes trailing behind Reynaldo Tamayo, Jr., the three-term mayor of Tupi, a sleepy town known for its fruit and vegetable production.

Reelectionist South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance Fuentes concedes defeat to Reynaldo Tamayo, Jr, three term Mayor of Tupi, South Cotabato, in an interview at her house in Koronadal City on May 14, 2019. MindaNews photo by BONG S. SARMIENTO

As of 9:46 a.m. Tuesday, Tamayo garnered 220,862 votes against Fuentes’ 191,814, or a difference of 29,048 votes, based on 98.62 percent of election returns aggregated from Commission on Elections data and posted at https://halalanresults.abs-cbn.com/local/south-cotabato.

Fuentes ruled the province as governor for 15 years and represented the second district at the Lower House for 12 years.

“I pray that he will be a better governor than I am,” she told reporters at her house here.

Fuentes said the “people have spoken and she is accepting the outcome of the elections.”

Lawyer Duque Kadatuan, South Cotabato Comelec supervisor, said eight localities in the province have completed the transmission of election returns (ERs) as of 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.

He said the provincial Board of Canvassers are just waiting for the transmission of ERs from Koronadal City, the capital of South Cotabao, and the towns of Lake Sebu and T’boli.

General Santos, which is a chartered city of South Cotabato, has yet to also transmit its ER to the provincial BOC.

The provincial BOC did not display the partial and official results of votes for each candidates at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan session hall here when it reconvened session this morning.

Kadatuan said they will post the official and final results of votes obtained by each candidates until all the transmissions are completed.

He said the BOC expects to declare the provincial and congressional winners by Tuesday evening.

Fuentes was representative of the second district of South Cotabato for three terms from 1992 to 2001 and governor for three terms from 2001 to 2009.

She was elected again as representative from 2010 to 2013 and won again in the 2013 and 2016 gubernatorial derby.

Fuentes ran under the Nationalist People’s Coalition- Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan slate while Tamayo under the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas.

Tamayo is the currently the president of the province’s League of Municipalities.

Several of Tamayo’s supporters were seen lingering at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan session hall Tuesday morning.

Fuentes’ partymate, incumbent South Cotabato 2nd District Rep. Ferdinand Hernandez appeared to win by a landslide for his third and last term, based also on partial and unofficial results. (Bong S. Sarmiento/MindaNews)

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