Incumbents reigned at local races this Election Day, May 9, but some challengers successfully ousted dynasts and long-time politicians to usher in a new face of governance in their localities.
In the National Capital Region, only Jeannie Sandoval of Malabon City was the winning challenger, defeating Enzo Oreta, brother of the incumbent Antolin “Lenlen” Oreta, by just 1,279 votes.
Vico Sotto of Pasig City, Joy Belmonte of Quezon City, Marcelino Teodoro of Marikina City and Ike Ponce of Pateros all glided into reelection.
Honey Lacuña, a physician by profession, will be the City of Manila’s first female mayor, taking the place of defeated presidential candidate Isko Moreno Domagoso, fending off a strong challenge from the children of two former mayors, Atty. Alex Lopez and Christy Lim.
Along Malapitan, son of the incumbent Oscar Malapitan, will inherit the mayoralty position in Caloocan City, winning by a margin of over 70,000 votes against former Liberal Party stalwart Egay Erice.
Three Quezon City representatives – all known for voting against the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise – tasted defeat after Belmonte’s slate shellacked them by wide margins. Mike Defensor, one of the lead crusaders against ABS-CBN, lost for mayor; Onyx Crisologo would be replaced by the ABS-CBN actor Arjo Atayde; and Precious Hipolito-Castelo lost reelection to Ralph Tulfo, son of the broadcaster and presumptive senator Raffy Tulfo.
The Marcoses in Northern Luzon had a good night, besides Bongbong Marcos, who is set to capture the presidency by a landslide. His son, Sandro, who has been a darling among the “UniTeam” supporters, defeated the incumbent Ria Fariñas for representative of Ilocos Norte’s 1st District. While Sen. Imee Marcos’s son, Matthew Manotoc, would be reelected for a second term as Ilocos Norte’s governor. Cecilia-Araneta Marcos, wife of a nephew of Ferdinand Marcos Sr., won the vice-gubernatorial race comfortably.
In Central and Southern Luzon, governors either won uncontested or reelected by a comfortable margin, including Susan Yap of Tarlac, Joet Garcia of Bataan, Jonvic Remulla of Cavite, Ramil Hernandez of Laguna and Daniel Fernando of Bulacan.
Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, coming out from retirement, won in Pampanga’s 2nd congressional district race. She was uncontested.
But Quezon – only one of the fifteen provinces that went for Vice President Leni Robredo in the presidential race – voted to oust Danny Suarez, electing Helen Tan, also a physician by profession, by a margin of more than 400,000 votes.
At the Queen City of the South, Cebu Province, former Tourism Secretary Ace Durano fell bigtime to Gwen Garcia, who was reelected for a second term with more than 1.4 million Cebuanos voting for her. Garcia’s 1Cebu local party endorsed Marcos Jr. for the presidency, who won in what was an anti-Marcos country back then.
In Capiz, the alliance between Lakas-CMD and Liberal Party proved fruitful as the incumbent Nonoy Contreras lost reelection to Oto Castro by more than 100,000 votes.
Gregorio Larrazabal, a former commissioner of the Commission on Elections, failed in his bid to send Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez to retirement. The veteran actor will now be Leyte’s 4th district representative.
At Davao, the bailiwick of the Dutertes, the eldest, Paolo, will be reelected for a second term as Davao City’s 1st District representative, while the youngest, Baste, will succeed his sister to be the city’s newest mayor. They will defeat Mags Maglana and Ruy Elias Lopez, who wanted to topple the Duterte dynasty.
Edwin Jubahib and Pantaleon Alvarez, both endorsers of Robredo in Davao del Norte, secured fresh terms in their province as governor and 1st district representative, respectively.
While a lead proponent of the “RoSa” tandem of Robredo and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, Rufus Rodriguez, was carried to victory in a landslide in Cagayan De Oro’s 2nd district congressional race. But Beng Climaco, outgoing Zamboanga City mayor, was defeated in her quest for a congressional seat as Zamboanga City’s 1st district representative.
In some areas, the political old-guard was swept away from office by fresh faces. Omie Rivera thwarted the Diaz’s family longstanding grip in San Mateo, Rizal. Allan De Leon, a barangay captain, defeated his former ally, Joric Gacula, in Taytay, Rizal. Ross Rizal, whose ancestor is Dr. Jose Rizal, ended the Chipeco family’s reign in Calamba City, Laguna. And Denver Chua toppled the two-decade rule of the Paredes dynasty in Cavite City.
In Dolores, Eastern Samar, Rodrigo “Onoy” Rivera, a market vendor, eked out a narrow victory against PDP-Laban bet’s Zaldy Carpeso in the mayoralty race. “Titikangan ta an lamrag nga magpapakita han Doloresnon hin maupay nga serbisyo (Sisimulan na natin ang liwanag sa pamamagitan ng pagpapakita sa mga taga-Dolores ng mahusay na serbisyo.),” he said on Facebook on Tuesday, May 10.