CABANATUAN CITY, MAY 20, 2013 (PHILSTAR) By Manny Galvez – While political dynasties prevailed in the May 13 elections according to foreign observers, clans in Nueva Ecija suffered otherwise with some taking painful defeats while others further cemented their power in their respective turfs.

The biggest of these dynasties are the Umalis and Josons of the third and first districts, which while posting electoral victories, both suffered setbacks.

The Umalis won the race for the gubernatorial and the congressional posts with Gov. Aurelio Umali and his wife, third district Rep. Czarina, getting fresh mandates, respectively.

Umali’s younger brother, boardmember Emmanuel Antonio, lost to reelectionist Cabanatuan Mayor Julius Cesar Vergara by a landslide.

The Josons suffered yet another setback with first district Rep. Josie Manuel-Joson losing to Gov. Umali and her husband, Quezon Mayor Mariano Cristino Joson, getting clobbered by board member Estrellita Suansing in the first district congressional race.

Former vice governor Eduardo IV also lost by a landslide in the vice gubernatorial contest to Umali’s running mate, reelectionist Vice Gov. Jose Gay Padiernos.

Two Josons – board member Eduardo Rey and Dean - won in their bid for reelection and mayorship of Quezon, respectively.

After being virtually invincible for 48 years dating back to 1947, the Josons have been on a steady political decline, suffering one setback after another over the last 18 years.

The clan had its first defeat in 1995 when Manuel Joson, then a neophyte, ran and lost in the first district congressional race against then incumbent Renato Diaz.

In 2001, it was the turn of Edward Thomas Joson – son of former four-time governor Tomas III – to lose, defeated in the third district congressional race by Gov. Umali.

The Josons lost again in 2007 with Gov. Umali beating Mariano Cristino in the gubernatorial race, ending the clan’s 48-year rule in the capitol.

Pangasinan gov calls for unity By Eva Visperas (The Philippine Star) | Updated May 19, 2013 - 12:00am

LINGAYEN, Pangasinan, Philippines – Re-elected Gov. Amado Espino Jr. yesterday appealed to everyone to unite and forget the pain caused by mudslinging during the campaign period.

Espino won by a margin of 554,351 votes over his lone opponent, Alaminos City Mayor Hernani Braganza who garnered 297,409 votes. He is now on his third term as governor.

In a message aired over Aksyon Radyo Pangasinan, Espino thanked the Pangasinenses and vowed to meet their expectations.

He said he is very open to reconciliation to everybody, including his political rival. He said he would give developmental projects to Braganza’s home city, as he noted that Alaminos City is wanting of developments.

“Let’s unite for the sake of our province. This is not for me, this is not for us your elected officials but this is for the next generations to come,” Espino said.

After Consulting Supporters BOPK to file poll protest By Jessa Chrisna Marie Agua (The Freeman) | Updated May 20, 2013 - 12:00am

Outgoing South District Rep. Tomas Osmeña shakes the hands of his supporters during the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) thanksgiving party at the South Road Property yesterday afternoon. Also in photo are: (from left to right) Councilor Nida Cabrera, Lea Japson, congressman-elect Raul del Mar, and outgoing Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young.

CEBU, Philippines - After consulting with lawyers and thousands of supporters, Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) chairman and outgoing south district Rep. Tomas Osmeña yesterday said they will file an election protest questioning the proclamation of the reelected mayor and vice mayor-elect.

At the BOPK thanksgiving party in Mambaling, Osmeña asked thousands of his supporters present if they should protest the results of the recently-concluded elections, to which the crowd affirmed.

“Our lawyers advised that we file a protest. I want to consult you. Do you want me to file a protest?,” he asked the crowd which replied with a resounding “yes”.

Heeding the people’s sentiments, he then announced that their party will be filing an election protest before the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) but did not say when.

Osmeña and running mate outgoing Vice Mayor Joy Young lost to Mayor Michael Rama and outgoing Councilor Edgardo Labella, respectively.

Young earlier said that they are gathering information and their lawyers are getting affidavits from supposed witnesses on alleged manipulation involving Team Rama that led to the proclamation of Rama and Labella.

“We have finished gathering data. The next step is to file a protest. Joy Young is a sure winner if we count all the rejected ballots,” Osmena told reporters.

Despite not getting the top two posts in the city, BOPK secured 15 council seats for both north and south districts.

Emotional BOPK candidates and supporters flocked the party’s thanksgiving program carrying the theme “Sa Kanunay Kaninyo Tommy Osmena, Magpabilin Kaninyo.”

It celebrated the victory of most of the council bets and claiming that Osmeña and Young won as opposed to earlier proclamation by the Comelec.

Reelected Councilors Nida Cabrera and Lea Japson were not able to contain their emotions and went into tears while on stage facing thousands of supporters.

“Nanghilak man gud ning taga Binaliw kay di mahitabo nga mapilde si Tommy Osmeña. Long long ago ako pang amahan wa nahitabo nga napilde. Karon palang mag start nata kun unsa’y para ato,para ato,” Japson said.

BOPK members believe that their mayoral and vice mayoral bets were cheated causing their “shocking” loss.

“Ang inyong pag-ari dire karun tima-an nga si Congressman Tomas Osmeña ang midaog sa miaging pinili-ay ug mo protesta kita,magpabilin kita sa plano sa BOPK,” Councilor Alvin Dizon said.

Young, along with the rest of the BOPK candidates remained defiant on the Rama-Labella proclamation.

“Pasalamat ko sa akong pamilya, ako ug kamong tanan nga BOPK salamat gyud kaayo, ayaw mo ug kaguol kay kini atong mga konsehal naa rani sila ayaw mo ug tuo anang estorya nga mobiya sila kanato kay kamo, parehas rami ninyo, we are not for sale,” Young said accusing Team Rama of massive vote buying.

The BOPK chairman, however, noted that this unfortunate experience provides a lesson for hard workers.

“Most would see the glass as half empty, but I see it as half full. Kahibaw ko limpyo ang inyong konsensiya. I am not very religious, but ang akong favorite commandment is honor the Sabbath. Naa ko laing mensahe gikan sa Ginoo, once in a while, bisan busy ka, hunong na,” Osmena told his emotional supporters hinting he also needs to take a rest and come back refreshed.

Osmena also said he will be very busy as he was authorized to manage the estate of his mother in Negros.—with Marrielle Shyne L. Palaubsanon/FPL

Labella declared vice mayor By Rene U. Borromeo (The Freeman) | Updated May 17, 2013 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Councilor Edgardo Labella was proclaimed last night by the Board of Election Canvassers as the new elected vice mayor of Cebu City who will serve as the presiding officer of the Cebu City Council for three years effective July 1.

Labella, the running mate of re-elected Mayor Michael Rama under the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA)-Team Rama, garnered a total of 203,267 votes, 184 votes more than re-electionist Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young’s 203,083 votes.

“I’m very happy,” Labella said when he arrived at the social hall of the City Legislative Building where the canvassing of the election returns was conducted since last Monday evening.

But Young who ran under the Liberal Party-Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) is planning to file appropriate legal remedy against Team Rama claiming the results were “manipulated.”

“Thank you sa tanang BOPK supporters. After three days of investigation we have come to conclusion that there were many manipulation sa polling places and we are collating proof and witnesses because we will be filing appropriate action soon,” Young said.

Young failed to elaborate what specific manipulations the other camp allegedly committed which caused him and Cebu City South District Rep. Tomas R. Osmeña to lose.

The BEC headed by Election Officer Ferdinand Gujilde had already proclaimed Rama after the latter garnered 217,448 or a lead of 6,376 as against Osmeña’s 211,072.

Of the 592 clustered precincts in Cebu City, the votes in three precincts from Barangay Mambaling, Cambinocot and Luz were not immediately counted last Monday because the compact flash cards of the three Precinct Count Optical Scan machines were defective.

The three new flash cards requested by Gujilde from the Comelec-Manila arrived only yesterday morning that is why the Board of Election Inspectors of the three precincts reconvened only at 12:30 p.m.

The PCOS machines were then reconfigured to accommodate the new flash cards that will serve as the memory of the electronics scanning and counting machines. The filled-up ballots inside the ballot boxes were again scanned by inserting then into the PCOS machines and later transmitted the results to the computer server at the canvassing center.

The scanning of the ballots lasted until 9 p.m. and the Team Rama supporters and friends of Labella cheered when Labella came up as the winner.

Team Rama supporter Bebeth Belarmino said “Happy kaayo mi kay nakadaug na ang among vice mayor og nawala na g’yud ang among nerbyos. Mao g’yud ni among gipangandoy nga modaug g’yud ang among manok sa Team Rama, si Labella.”

But BOPK supporter Josephine Caballar doubted the result.

“Dili ko makatoo nga napilde si Congressman (Tomas) Osmeña unya si Margot (Osmeña’s wife) nakadaug. Kon atong tan-awon og nakadaug si Margot daug ‘sab unta si Tommy, dili g’yud katoohan.”

After Labella was proclaimed by Gujilde with the presence of Rama and several supporters and friends, the vice mayor-elect said he will serve as the presiding officer of the City Council fair regardless of any political affiliations.

While the BEI were still scanning the ballots yesterday afternoon, Labella’s mobile phone could not be reached that prompted his friends and even his teammates to worry that he cannot be proclaimed last night.

“Didto ra tawon ko naghapon sa prayer room nagsigi og ampo nga tabangan ko sa labaw’ng makagagahum,” Labella said.

Labella used to be a director of the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas before he joined politics in 1998. He met an accident that nearly claimed his life when the Princess of the Orient that he boarded heading to Cebu from Manila sank due to bad weather off Mindoro in 1998.

When several barangay captains asked him to run for vice mayor for the reason that his third term as city councilor would end on June 30, he was “touched” by their appeal and was convinced to accept the challenge to be the running mate of Rama.

“Akong ipasalig ka katawhan nga mipili nako pagka bise mayor nga serbisyohan gayud nako sila sa kinasing-kasing sa walay pagpinig og asa sila nga partido nagsuporta sa miaging eleksyon,” said Labella.

Meanwhile, the Board of Canvassers also proclaimed last night Councilor-Elect Hanz Abella of Team Rama and BOPK’s Ritchie Osmeña as the 7th and 8th councilors of the city’s south district with 100,441 votes and 99,253 votes, respectively.

Councilor Noel Eleuterio Wenceslao was also proclaimed as the eighth councilor of the city north district.

Gujilde said that it would be better if no back-up CF cards will be provided in the next polls, saying that they cause the main CF cards to malfunction.

“Ang mga back-up magamit unya in case naa’y election protest. Pero sa pagkakaron, wala mi nakakita sa sense kung ngano pa’ng mag-back up,” he said.

Gujilde added, however, that should any protest or legal issue arise, using back-up CF cards would be unnecessary.

“You use the official ballots for a manual recount, not the cards,” said Gujilde. —Raffy Cabristante,Silliman University intern,Marielle Shayne Palaubsanon,CNU intern /BRP (FREEMAN)


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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