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Bacolod City, Philippines Wednesday, May 15, 2019
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with Matè Espina


Rock & Refuge

Election is finally over. Many posts in social media are encouraging everyone to “move on,” particularly those who felt the results were not to their liking.

I am one of those. I stood in line for more than two hours, weathering the heat and silently praying that I am not alone in my battle in hoping against hope that we will get a more decent Senate.

Around me, the chatter was non-stop about vote-buying with two young men ahead of me saying they will only vote for two councilors as instructed. Another lady was counting how many more in her list have not voted and jubilantly cried out when a group of five joined the line so she will be able to take her lunch. Her assignment was over.

It made me want to cry and shout, made me want to leave the lines and just go home, made me want to stop pretending there’s still hope but I took that chance and stayed. I had to make my vote count and I’m glad I did, even if the results are not to my liking.

There have been many major upsets around the country but the biggest for me was the victory of Ella Garcia Yulo against Mayor Magdaleno Peña by over 100 percent. The people of Moises Padilla were able to reclaim their town and proudly stood their ground.

Michael Garcia who was replaced by his younger brother Vincent Bryan, whom we fondly call “Big,” took the top spot in the councilor race. Though Big may have been a reluctant candidate, as he was never fond of politics and would rather be given a kitchen where he can cook to his heart’s content, I am sure he will not fail his big brother from hereon.

Even the black propaganda in Moises Padilla against elected Vice-Governor Jeffrey Ferrer went pffftt after he got over ten thousand votes in the town, double than what the present mayor got.

It was sad that Mark and Michael had to die in the process but they sure did not die in vain, and I hope this will be the end of violence and fear in that town.

The fifth district was an area we were closely watching because of heated battles and true enough, apart from Moises Padilla, major upsets were seen in Himamaylan with Raymond Tongson and Justin Gatuslao along with their slate, took the city back from the Bascons.

Binalbagan also had a close fight but in the end, Rep. Bebot Mirasol wrenched back his town from Mayor Manuel Aranda while in Isabela, Irene Montilla grabbed the seat from incumbent Mayor Joselito Malabor by a close margin of some 50 votes.

However, it’s not a sweet victory for Montilla as the vice-mayor down to the council are not from her party and so I guess the battle will continue to rage there.

Hinigaran Mayor Nadie Arceo got re-elected but was given a good run by neophyte Paul Yulo which should give the former a jolt and see where the discontent in his leadership is coming from.

In EB Magalona, Mayor Marvin Malacon won over Board Member David Lacson by over 100 percent and so with his entire slate.

As of this writing, Silay City’s votes have not yet been fully counted but it’s a close fight between Mayor Mark Golez and former Mayor Oti Villanueva. The game changer was independent candidate Joedith Gallego who gave both candidates a good run for their money.

At the national arena, the reign of the Estradas is over with former President Erap losing to the younger Isko Moreno in Manila. Losing their San Juan stronghold as well to their former allies, now nemesis, the Zamoras, probably hurt more. Jinggoy (thank goodness) is probably out of the senate race although anything can still happen, and so with JV Ejercito who is hanging by a slim thread at the 13 th spot.

Former Vice-President Jejomar Binay also lost the congressional seat in Makati to Kid Peña, but the child he backed up for the mayoralty race, Abby, remains in office and so, the holiday continues for the Binays.

Senator Loren Legarda who can’t let go of politics is now the new congressional representative of Antique, while in Iloilo City, Jerry Treñas is back as its mayor.

The Cayetanos continue to hold on to Taguig with the mayor and the two congressional seats there all taken by their family and it sure looks like Pia Cayetano will be back in the Senate as well. So much for political dynasties which will probably go down the drain if Alan Peter will get the house speakership that he is dreaming of.

In Bacolod City, it’s a landslide victory for Mayor Bing’s camp which is not surprising as the last barangay election has predicted so.

Re-elected Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran posted early yesterday on social media, “You reap what you sow.”

Indeed. And this makes me cry for our motherland.*

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