MOUNTAIN PROVINCE – The top three incumbent officials in the province have retained their seats in the May 9 presidential elections that also led to defeats among incumbent municipal mayors.
The rivalry between Rep. Maximo Dalog, Jr. and former Sabangan Mayor Jupiter Dominguez remained peaceful, as the former has secured a commanding lead with his 51,995 votes, as against the latter’s 40,790 votes.
The younger Dalog won in the towns of Bauko, Barlig, Bontoc, Besao, Sadanga, Paracelis, Natonin, and Tadian while Dominguez won in his hometown Sabangan and nearby Sagada.
It was a walk in the park for Gov. Bonifacio Lacwasan, Jr. in his reelection bid for second term for garnering 74,871 votes as of 9:17 a.m. of May 11, as against the 8,956 votes garnered by his lone rival, Albert Paddy-os.
Vice Gov. Francis Tauli, who garnered 44,602 votes, had a challenging reelection bid against closest rival Bauko Mayor Abraham Akilit, who had 39,558 votes. The third candidate, Alexandre Claver, had 2,412 votes.
In the provincial board, Federico Onsat topped the race for District 1 with 17,971 votes followed by Joshua Fronda with 17,956; Ezra Gomez with 17,942; and Cariño Tamang with 17,713 votes.
Incumbent Besao Mayor Johnson Bantog, who opted not to seek for third term but ran for higher elective post, topped the race for District 2 with 24,876 votes followed by Ricardo Masidong, Jr. with 21,322; Henry Bastian, Jr. with 19,159; and Donato Danglose with 17, 407 votes.
In the municipal level, Jerome Tudlong garnered 3,378 votes in the race for mayor in the capital town of Bontoc, edging closest rival Alsannyster Patingan, who garnered 3,215 votes while unopposed Vice Mayor Eusebio Kabluyen garnered 9,363 votes.
In Barlig, Clark Ngaya, who ran unopposed in the mayoralty race, garnered 2,370 votes while Delio Focad won as vice mayor against two rivals with 1,853 votes. It is the first time that a mayor secured a fresh mandate through reelection since the creation of the municipality in 1929 (See related story).
In Natonin, Mayor Jose Agagon retained his post with 3,737 votes and was tailed by former mayor Mateo Chiyawan, who got 2,381 votes. The town will have a new vice mayor in Raymundo Lapasen who garnered 4,472 votes to win over incumbent vice mayor Christopher Bayowan who got 2,010 votes.
The vote-rich Bauko town will have new mayor in Randy Awisan who got 10,014 votes while Vice Mayor Bartolo retained his post against three rivals with 6,367 votes.
Butch Bacwaden will sit as new mayor of Besao with 2,686 votes while Elizabeth Buyagan garnered 2,602 votes to win the vice mayoralty race against incumbent Vice Mayor June Lopsoten.
Paracelis town will also have new mayor and vice mayor, as comebacking Avelino Amangyen garnered 9,220 votes to win against incumbent mayor Marcos Ayangwa while Djarma Rafael had 6,968 votes to win the vice mayoralty post.
In Sabangan, Mayor Marcial Lawilao, Jr. retained his post with 4,516 votes edging closest rival, Vice Mayor Dario Esden. Rodolfo Mencion will sit as vice mayor with 2,762 votes.
In Sadanga, Adolf Ganggangan, son of the late mayor Gabino Ganggangan, will sit as mayor after he replaced his father following the latter’s demise in January this year, with 2,757 votes while Paul Farong-ey was elected vice mayor with 3,086 votes.
In Sagada, Vice Mayor Felicito Dula edged out Mayor James Pooten, Jr. who sought reelection for his last term. Dula got 3,984 votes while Pooten got 2,822 votes. David Buyagan will sit as vice mayor with 3,514 votes.
In Tadian, Mayor Constito Masweng and vice mayoralty bet George Bisen, Jr., who are both unopposed, garnered 8,193 and 7,606 votes, respectively. – Harley F. Palangchao