Binay wins Makati polls

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — The ticket of Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay has scored a sweep of the elections in the city, winning all 20 local positions at stake.

Never has there been a rout in Makati, which has been an opposition stronghold under Binay. In 2001 Binay’s slate had a 19-1 record with Nemesio “King” Yabut Jr., a son of a former mayor, the lone administration winner.

“This landslide victory for the Makati candidates of the Genuine Opposition is a repudiation of the Arroyo administration. The message of Makati is clear—in a democracy, it is the people who will judge their leaders,” Binay said after he was proclaimed winner on Thursday.

Binay, who heads the United Opposition, had 198,814 votes while his closest opponent, Sen. Lito Lapid of the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats, had 22,462.

A third candidate, Elias Dulalia had 1,243 votes.

In the vice-mayoral race, reelectionist Ernesto Mercado beat his opponent Yabut Jr. by more than 100,000 votes.

Binay’s daughter, Marlen Abigail, was proclaimed winner in the congressional race for the Second District, trouncing her opponent, Erwin Genuino, 70,904 to 41,191votes.

Genuino is the son of Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. Chairman Ephraim Genuino.

Reelectionist Rep. Teodoro “Teddyboy” Locsin Jr. won in the 1st congressional district with 85,958 votes. His closest rival, former councilor Oscar Ibay, had 17,489.

All the seats in the city council also went to members of Binay’s team led by his son, Jejomar Erwin Jr.

An aide of Lapid said the candidate has a meeting and refused to issue a statement, but one of his candidates for councilor in the city’s Second District, Napoleon Malimas, said they might question the proclamation citing a disqualification case they filed against Binay.

Appointed by then-President Corazon Aquino to head the city after the fall of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 1986, Binay and his family have run Makati ever since.

As one of the few Metro Manila mayors opposed to Arroyo, Binay has allowed Makati to become the venue of huge anti-Arroyo protests.

In Pasig City the camps of Robert “Bobby” Eusebio and Robert “Dudot” Jaworski Jr. are both claiming victory in the race for mayor.

The National Movement for Free Elections’ quick count showed Eusebio with a slim lead over Jaworski, 19,168 votes 18,072, as of Thursday morning.

But AMA’s count had Jaworski leading, with 22,069 to 20,374.

Canvassing had been stalled because of the late delivery of election returns to the board of election inspectors.

There were apparent discrepancies in the ERs, such as inconsistencies in the number of votes, the questionable registration of voters and excess number of ballots.

Ma. Anna Gonzales, chairman of the city’s board of canvassers, said that due to the slow count, the canvassing could take five to seven days more.

Outside the Pasig gymnasium, the canvassing area, supporters of the two candidates set up camp.

In neighboring Mandaluyong City, Rep. Benhur Abalos made a successful return as mayor after being proclaimed the winner Thursday.

Abalos, who left only after his second term, had swapped places with Rep. Neptali Gonzales II.

Abalos handily defeated his opponents Florencio Solomon and Camilo Alpuerto.

Gonzales himself returned to his old seat in the House of Representatives by routing his foe, Emilito Sarmiento, 88,306 to 3,698 votes.

Abalos and Gonzales both ran under the Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats party.

Abalos’ running mate, Renato Sta. Maria, won against former Councilor Danny de Guzman’s and Jack Ramel.

In Marikina City, Lakas-CMD candidate Marides Fernando for mayor was reelected and was proclaimed Thursday afternoon.

Fernando garnered 50,082 votes, and her opponent Benjamin Molina, got 22,462.

Marion Andres, running mate of Fernando, was also proclaimed vice-mayor with 31,016 votes with rival Efren Angeles getting 13,661.

Del de Guzman won the congressional race in the Second District and Marcy Teodoro in the First District.

Nineteen councilors running under Fernando’s ticket won.

In San Juan, incumbent Mayor Joseph Victor Ejercito hoped to be proclaimed on Thursday.