MALAYBALAY CITY (MindaNews/14 May) – For the first time, a Zubiri has tasted electoral defeat in Bukidnon.
Incumbent Malaybalay City Mayor Ignacio Zubiri, who ran as second district representative of the province, lost to a newcomer – lawyer John Flores.
The mayor, a nephew of incumbent Gov. Jose Ma. R. Zubiri Jr., took a beating in Malaybalay, where he obtained 34,814 votes against Flores’s 43,967.
Zubiri only won in Cabanglasan, one of the second district’s four other towns, according to the partial results posted on the website of the Commission on Elections as of 10:00 a.m. Tuesday. He got a margin of close to 2,000 votes in said town.
In the towns of Impasugong, Lantapan and San Fernando, Flores overtook him by around 3,000 votes.
At least 96 percent of the election results in the second district had been transmitted as of Tuesday noon, the Comelec website said.
But Flores, although a neophyte politician, is not without a mentor. The man who guided his campaign and he will succeed is his own father, third-term Rep. Florencio Flores Jr.
As a double whammy for Mayor Zubiri, the elder Flores also won in his comeback bid for city mayor against incumbent Vice Mayor Roland Deticio, Zubiri’s anointed successor for the city’s highest post.
Flores Jr. got 43,061 votes while Deticio obtained 34,178 votes.
Malaybalay has around 81,000 registered voters.
Rep. Flores served as city mayor from 2001 to 2010, and earlier as vice mayor.
Zubiri started his political career in 1998 as a city councilor. He served as vice mayor from 2004 to 2010.
Deticio, a lawyer, became a provincial board member and later a city councilor. He had intended to run for the House in 2010, but gave way to Flores Jr., then an ally. (H. Marcos C. Mordeno/MindaNews)