MINDANAO 2019-2022: Mindanao’s 27 governors: 11 reelected, 11 first-termers, 5 ‘returnees’

(MindaNews / 23 May) – Eleven of Mindanao’s 27 governors won a second or third term in last week’s election, 11 are first-termers while five are “returnees” or those who could no longer qualify to run for the same post in 2016 because of the three-term limit, but returned in 2019.

Dinagat Islands’ new governor, human rights lawyer and two-term congressional representative Arlene “Kaka” Javellana Bag-ao.” Photo from Kaka Bag-ao’s Facebook page

The 11 reelected governors are Basilan’s Jim Hataman Salliman (PDP), Bukidnon’s Jose Ma. Zubiri (BPP), Compostela Valley’s Jayvee Tyron Uy (HnP), Davao del Sur’s Douglas Cagas (Ind), Davao Occidental’s Claude Bautista (HnP), Davao Oriental’s Nelson Dayanghirang (HnP), Lanao del Norte’s Imelda Dimaporo (PDP), Misamis Oriental’s Yevgeny Vincente Emano (Padayon Pilipino), Sarangani’s Steve Chiongbian Solon (PDP), Zamboanga del Norte’s Roberto Uy (PDP), and Zamboanga Sibugay’s Wilter Palma.

The five “returnees” are Camiguin’s Jurdin Jesus Romualdo (NPC), who is taking over the post from his wife Ma. Luisa; Lanao del Sur’s Mamintal Adiong Jr. (Lakas) from his mother, Soraya Bedjora; Sultan Kudarat’s Suharto Mangudadatu (NUP) from his father, Datu Pax; Sulu’s Abdusakur Tan (PDP), from his son Abdusakur II; and Surigao del Norte’s Francisco Matugas (PDP) from his wife, Sol.

Of the 11 first-termers, six defeated candidates from the dynasties or long-staying politicians.

Davao del Norte’s governor-elect, Edwin Jubahib. Photo from Edwin Jubahib’s Facebook page

In Davao del Norte, Edwin Jubahib (PDP), former bus conductor and chief of staff of former Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez (PDP), won against the Del Rosario-Floirendo clan’s candidate, provincial board member Rodolfo Jr., (HnP). Outgoing Governor Anthony del Rosario (HnP) lost to Alvarez in the first district, while Antonio del Rosario Floirendo failed in his bid for a fifth term as representative of the 2nd district against Alan Dujali (PDP).

The Floirendos have been representing the 2nd district since 1998. Except for one term (2004–2007), the Del Rosarios have been succeeding each other as Governor since 1998. But the del Rosario patriarch, Rodolfo Sr., started his political career in 1978, under the Interim Batasang Pambansa. He was also named by then President Ferdinand Marcos as Environment Minister, until Marcos was ousted in February 1986.

Human rights lawyer and two-term Representative Arlene “Kaka” Bag-ao (LP) defeated Ben Glen Ecleo (PDP) in Dinagat Islands

In Zamboanga del Sur, the Cerilles dynasty took a severe beating with Rep. Aurora (NP) losing her bid for Governor to former three-term Rep. Victor Yu (PDP), her husband, Antonio (NPC), the Governor, losing to Jun Babasa (PDP) in the race to represent the 2nd district, and their son, Vice Governor Ace William lost his bid for Vice Governor to Roy Ariosa (UNA).

Antonio and wife Aurora have been swapping posts, succeeding each other as Governor since 2001 (Aurora from 2001 to 2010, Antonio from 2010 to 2019); and as Representative of the 2nd district from 1987 to present, except for one term (2001 to 2004). Antonio served as Representative from 1987 to 1998 and 2004 to 2010; and Aurora from 1998 to 2001 and 2010 to 2019).

But the winning Governor, Yu, is following in the footsteps of Cerilles. Yu, who represented the 1st district from 2007 to 2016, was succeeded by his wife, Divina Grace, who was elected to a second term.

In Tawi-tawi, Yshmael Sali (NUP), mayor of Languyan town from 2007 to 2016, stopped the return of four-term Governor Sadikul Sahali (PDP). Sahali’s eldest daughter, Ruby, also lost her bid for a third term as representative of its lone congressional district but son Nurbert, governor from 2013 to 2016, was elected mayor of Panglima Sugala.

In North Cotabato, three-term Rep. Nancy Catamco stopped the bid of longtime Carmen mayor Rogelio Talino to be governor.

In South Cotabato, Tupi mayor Reynaldo Tamayo Jr., prevented outgoing Governor Daisy Avance-Fuentes from earning a sixth term. Fuentes represented the 2nd district of South Cotabato from 1992 to 2001, was governor from 2001 to 2010; returned to Congress from 2010 to 2013; and won as governor again from 2013 to 2019.

Two of the first-termers were fielded by their outgoing governors: Agusan del Norte’s Dale Corvera (PDP) who is taking over from Ma. Angelica Rosedell Amante and Agusan del Sur’s Santiago Cane (NUP), from Adolph Edward Plaza.

Cane is ending his third term as Vice Governor of Agusan del Sur on June 30. Corvera was Agusan del Norte Vice Governor from 2004 to 2007 and from 2007 to 2016 served as mayor of the then newly-created Cabadbaran City.

The other incoming first-term Governors are Bai Mariam Mangudadatu (NP) of Maguindanao, Philip Tan of Misamis Occidental and Alexander Pimentel of Surigao del Norte.

Bai Mariam defeated Freddie Mangudadatu (PDP), mayor of Mangudadatu town and brother of outgoing Maguindanao Governor Esmael Mangudadatu (PDP). Bai Mariam’s husband, Sultan Kudarat Governor Suharto Mangudadatu (NUP), is the uncle of Esmael and Freddie.

Tan and his wife Jennifer, have been succeeding each other as mayor of Tangub City since 1995: Philip from 1992 to 2001 and 2010 to 2019. Jennifer was mayor from 2001 to 2010.

Pimentel filed a certificate of candidacy for mayor of Tandag City but substituted for his brother Vicente, who died on December 25, 2018. Pimentel’s wife, Roxanne, substituted for Alexander in the Tandag City mayoralty race and won.

Since its creation in 2007, Tandag City has elected only two mayors: Alexander from 2007 to 2013 and 2016 to 2019 and Roxanne, from 2013 to 2016 and will take over as mayor at noon of June 30 this year. (Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews)