Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Mar Roxas may have lost in the presidential race, but his party and its allies remain entrenched in Bohol province.
Gov. Edgar Chatto of LP was re-elected governor with 330,751 votes, while Loay Mayor Rosermarie Lim-Imboy with 222,222 votes. Chatto is in his last term as governor.
Senior Board Member lawyer Dionisio Balite of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) won a fresh mandate as vice governor of Bohol with 277,199 votes. He defeated incumbent Vice Governor Concepcion Lim (LP), who got 256,124 votes.
Balite was among the last five candidates in the provincial level that the BOC were proclaimed on Wednesday at the Capitol Session Hall after a much delayed count caused by transmission problems from the municipalities and glitches from secured digital (SD) cards from Sierra-Bullones and Lila towns.
Balite said he will bring back the dignity at the SP.
â€œTo everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven. This is the time; this is the season. You all gave me the purpose. All of these fruits of hope, faith, hardwork and prayers, akong ihalad kaninyo,â€ said Balite.
LP will have majority in the composition of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP). LPâ€™s Venzencio Arcamo, Abeleon Damalerio and newcomer Ricky Masamayor for the first district.Â In the second district, only Agapito AvenidoÂ is from LP, while Rey NiÃ±o Boniel is from UNA and Thomas Abapo (NPC). In the third district, LPâ€™s Jade Bautista, Alexi Tutor, Elpidio Jala won, while PDP-Labanâ€™s Victor Balite won.
Only one of the three congressmen who received a fresh mandate is an LP candidate. He was Rene Relampagos of the first district. The two others- Erico Aristotle Aumentado (second district) and Arthur Yap (third district)â€”belong to the NPC.
Of the 47 towns and one city in Bohol, 31 elected mayors are with LP while nine belong to PDP-Laban, the party of presumptive president Duterte. The UNA and the NPC have four mayors each.
For the Boholanos, the choice was a Duterte-Robredo leadership.
The official results from 47 towns and 1 city also showed that Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte got 310,114 votes, while Mar Roxas came second with 200,544 votes. Vice President Jejomar Binay got 42,245 votes, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago got 6,108 votes, Sen. Grace Poe got 68,097 votes and Roy SeÃ±eres got 437 votes, according to the election returns canvassed by the Bohol Provincial Board of Canvassers (BOC) on Wednesday.
In the vice presidential race, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo enjoyed a wide margin in Bohol with 272,649 votes. Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano followed with 167, 085 votes; Sen. Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. with 79, 514 votes; Sen. Francis Escudero with 54, 139 votes; Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV with 10, 747 votes; and Sen. Gringo Honasan with 9,879 votes.
But even though Duterte won in Bohol due to his campaign manager, the outgoing Maribojoc mayor Leoncio Evasco Jr., Duterteâ€™s popularity in the province didnâ€™t help for the local PDP-Laban leaders to win.
In Maribojoc town, considered the bailiwick of Evasco, their candidate incumbent vice-mayor Fructuoso Redulla Jr. failed to win the mayoralty bid. AlsoÂ PDP-Labanâ€™s provincial chair Dr. Doloreich Dumaluan didnâ€™t Â win for mayor in Panglao town.
Prominent political families have maintained their political dominance.
The Jumamoy family maintained its dominance in Inabanga town.Â Josephine Socorro Jumamoy was re-elected mayor, while son Jose Jono Jumamoy was re-elected councilor.
The Cajes family maintained their hold in Trinidad town. Judith Cajes was reelected mayor, while daughter won a fresh mandate as councilor.
In Panglao, the Montero strengthened its position after Nila Montero was re-elected in the mayoral race and her daughter, Aya Montero was elected councilor.
The Imboy family continued its dominance in Loay town. Outgoing mayor Rosemarie who lost to Chatto will be replaced by her daughter, incumbent councilor Rochelle Brigitte Imboy, 25, who received a fresh mandate as the new mayor of Loay town. Rosemarieâ€™s husband, board member Brigido Imboy, was elected as Loay vice mayor.
Capt. Gisela Boniel was elected mayor of Bien Unido, replacing her husband Mayor Boniel who won a seat in the provincial board.
Bohol is known as an LP bailiwick. Â With the winning of Duterte, a tide of change is expected in the local politics.
Traditionally, most officials transfer to the ruling party after elections. Those elected have not announced plans to switch parties though, but they said they would support the Duterte administration.
â€œTraditionally,Â Bohol is pro-administration. Kung kinsa in government in power, ana sila,â€ said Prof. Marianito Luspo, historian and trend watcher.
Most of the time, dili magkuyog ang president ug vice-president,â€ he said.
Why Cayetano didnâ€™t win in Bohol, according to Luspo, the Duterte camp was focused on Duterte.
â€œThey were focus on Digong nga wala niya ma-raise iyang vice,â€ he said.
Luspo said that it will be possible that the LP local leaders will transfer to PDP-Laban.
â€œMy analysis is, for survivorâ€™s sake they will.Â They will align with PDP, now the ruling party,â€ he said.
Chatto said that he will work very closely with the Duterte administration in relation to how local government can contributeÂ to national development.
â€œIt is a matter of getting all the programs from national government in place also in the local.Â We will assure the national leadership that Bohol will be cooperating in national programs and make sure that our local programs will alsoÂ in tandem of national development thrusts,â€ Chatto said.
Chatto, the provinceâ€™sÂ LP chair, said there are existing local programs that he wants to continue.
â€œWe wouldÂ see also what are the priorities of the incoming Duterte administration. We always align also programs of developments in accordance how national administration approaches the national and local and international issues that will have far reaching effects on local levels,â€ he said.
Election in Bohol generally peaceful
Besides several reports of massive vote-buying, a group of foreign observers on conclude that the election in Bohol was â€œgenerally orderly and peaceful.â€
The Compact for Peaceful and Democratic Elections-International Observers Mission (Compact-IOM) deployed five foreign delegates—- Cindy Domingo, Marcelo Trautmann, Celi Tamayo-Lee, Dominik Hammann and Lilli Breininger— to monitor and observe the election process in Bohol.
The election coverage and monitoring brought Tamayo-Lee and Trautmann (including yours truly, Liza Macalandag and Regina Estorba-Macalandag) to Cuaming Island of Inabanga after we received reports on harassment, vote-buying, tension between supporters and failure of voting counting machines (VCMs).
â€œAs an international election observer, we had been told that there were reports on irregularity o the machines. When we arrived we visited the three precints there and found the machines were downed for two hours,â€ said Tamayo-Lee.
At around 1 p.m. on Monday, voting stopped in two clustered precincts in Cuaming in Inabanga town in Bohol province after the Vote Counting Machines (VCMs) malfunctioned.
The cluster precincts comprised six precincts or at least 1,000 voters.
The Board of Election Inspectors (BEI) stopped the voting after the VCMs failed to read the votes cast after 10 tries.
â€œWe tried to wait for a technician but no one came because itâ€™s far,â€ said BEI Genabel Bayot.
She added the machine would still not read the results, prompting them to off the machine. AT around 5 p.m, it functioned but another there was another signal- no signal at the island.
What added to the problem was tension rose between supporters of incumbent Mayor Josephine Socorro Jumamoy and her opponent Engr. Concepcion MuÃ±eses.
Cuaming Island hadÂ 1, 614 registered voters. It had had 3 clusters with three precints each cluster.
Both parties claimed of harassment and vote-buying.
Inabanga is 71 km from Tagbilaran City. It has 50 barangays of which Â Cuaming and Hambongan are the two island-barangays.
At least 6 police officers were assigned in the area during election time.
But according to the police who were assigned at the island. They managed to curb the tension.
â€œNakontrol nato ang area. Dili malikayan both sides magkantyaway. Walay pasakitan sa usag-usa gawas lang sa estorya ana. Under control nato ang area, Naay estorya nga gubot pero naa mi pirmi nag-monitor sa area,” said PO3 Reynaldo Galorioâ€
He also added they safeguarded the overall electoral process without endangering its credibility.
A watcher Raymond Balorio accused the BEI for some violations of the conduct of the election.
â€œNaa man gud ko nakit-an dili maayo. Sa among seminar, if naa nakit-ansa sud Â nga dili maayo ..kanag magdala og smaple bloot, kanang magdrive sab nga dili illiterate, ta-aw nako mabuking na, dili ipadayun..ug kuwanÂ gani ipadayun. It means naay anomaly nga dili maayo,â€ he said.
However, BEI denied his accusations.
â€œHe annoyed us. He disturbed us during the voting. He always ask not valid questions. He annoyed us a BEI. So it means. He didnâ€™t trust us as BEI,â€ said Bayot.
She added that BEI had held the ballot that could not submitted to the VCM.
She added that some residents reported harassment and felt upset during the election process.
In Antequera town,Â reading glasses were on stand-by for senior citizens who are more susceptible to age-related eye problems.
Since the ballot had smaller letter, Obujan village chair Marcelina Descallar provided at least 10 reading glasses at the precints at Obujan-Tagubaas Elem. School for senior citizens including Ceferina Refogio, 72, who forgot to bring her eyeglass.
Another international election observer, Cindy Domingo, said that election in Bohol was generally peaceful and smooth sailing.
â€œThis is my second time as international observer to the Filipino election. The first time was in Cebu and this is my first time to Bohol. Itâ€™s very different. It looks like a little more organized in Bohol,â€ she said.
She said thatÂ vote-buying was visible and people were opened on vote buying.
â€œI think overall, I have not seen any large problem and so other than vote-buying… over-all election is doing well. There were intimidation reported but hard for us to see us,â€ said Domingo.
She said she was inspired how the Philippines conducted Mondayâ€™s election.
She wanted to highlight the â€œfaceless, nameless heroesâ€ who made the election possible.
â€œThe teachers, the unsung heroes of the election… Very inspirational,â€ she said.
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