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Bacolod City, Philippines Wednesday, May 15, 2019
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Slain councilor gets top votes


The year 2019 would have been the third and last term of the late reelectionist Moises Padilla Councilor Michael Garcia but he was killed in an ambush only more than two weeks before the May 13 polls.

But the people he left behind did not forget, as they still voted for him in Monday’s elections. In fact, he was elected as the number one town councilor after he garnered 10,981 votes.

Garcia, 28, was killed after the campaign convoy of his aunt, Moises Padilla Vice Mayor Ella Garcia-Yulo, was ambushed in the outskirts of Barangay Inolingan on April 25.

The vice mayor’s brother, Marc Garcia, former Moises Padilla Liga ng mga Barangay president, also died in the incident. Both sacrificed themselves, so Yulo and the others could escape.

With Michael Garcia gone, his younger brother, 25-year-old Vincent Garcia, vowed that he will continue what the late councilor has started.

He filed his candidacy for Sangguniang Bayan member a week before the elections. With the win, Vincent Garcia will now sit as the top councilor and take up the cudgels from his brother.

Yulo, who had an overwhelming win in the mayoralty race against incumbent Mayor Magdaleno Peña, said Michael was a great loss to the community as he had so much potential as a leader.

He was a director of the Philippine Councilors League in Negros Occidental, and president of the National Movement of Young Legislators in the province, she added.

She said Michael joined politics at the age of 21, when he was first elected as a town councilor. The slain official had been fond of politics since he was still young - he was even elected as mayor in their school when he was still an elementary pupil, Yulo recalled.

She said the late councilman was hardworking and helpful to his constituents. He was also a breadwinner for his three younger siblings after their father died when he was still 18 years old.

“He was very responsible. He took care of his siblings...he didn’t even know how to get angry with his younger brothers and sister,” she added.

Yulo said she is very thankful to her constituents for “this one last vote for Michael.” She said Vincent, like his brother, was also a good man.

“My advice to him, as an incoming councilor, is to always think about the people and what is best for them,” Yulo said.

Michael will be laid to rest on May 18, along with Marc Garcia’s cremated remains.

The town, which is still under the control of the Commission on Elections in the wake of the killings, has 26,914 registered voters, of which 20,274, or 75 percent of the electorate, cast their votes in Monday’s elections.

Yulo won 70 percent of the votes with 13,056, compared to Peña’s 5,493.

Her running mate, Ian Villaflor, also had an overwhelming win with 13,612 votes while his opponent, Antonio Suatengco, only had 3,714 votes. Six in her slate for the municipal council also won.*


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