COMELEC proclaims provincial,
municipal, city winners
By BONG PEDALINO (PIA Southern
May 18, 2007
MAASIN CITY, Southern Leyte
– A noisy fireworks lit up the pre-dawn sky above the capitol ground airspace
here Thursday as winners from the Congressional and gubernatorial races,
including the provincial board members, were announced and proclaimed by Atty.
Felicisimo Embalsado, Provincial Election Officer who also served as the Chair
of the provincial board of Canvassers.
On Wednesday night, or about
four hours earlier, winners of this city were also duly proclaimed, while for
the rest of the 18 towns winners were also duly proclaimed accordingly in the
3-day period from the May 14 balloting.
All the victors from the
provincial level down to this city’s councilors came from the Lakas-Kampi
Roger Mercado won over his rival, Engr. Robert Castanares, the former garnering
82,583 votes and the latter, 80,954 votes, or a close margin of 1,629.
Based on these figures, the
voters’ turnout for the province was 86%.
For the gubernatorial post,
Marissa “Dundeet” Lerias got 72,037 of the votes cast, while her rival, City
Mayor Damian “Mian” Mercado had 85,778, for a landslide victory in the Mayor’s
favor with a 13,741 difference.
This city’s Vice-Mayor,
meanwhile, is now Mayor-Elect Maloney Samaco, with 18,105 votes as against Gov.
Rosette Lerias’s 17,207 votes – a slim difference of 898 votes.
For the second straight day on
Thursday, the city hall grounds remained barricaded as sympathizers of Gov.
Lerias staged another silent protest rally, this time complete with placards
denouncing the teachers manning as board of election inspectors (BEIs) at
A sampling of the placards
read, “Maestra limbongan tikas sa presinto” (teachers cheaters cheating at
precincts), and “Mga kapitan, tanod ug mga konsehal sa barangay maoy nagpasiugda
sa tikas, limbong ug kawat sa mga boto nato (Village heads, barangay police, and
barangay councilors initiated the fraud, cheating, and stealing of our votes).
Mayor and Governor-Elect
Mercado and his elder brother, re-electionist Cong. Mercado, simply ignored the
quite protesters, saying it’s their right to air grievances.
But most teachers who read the
placards felt disgusted, as they did their duties in utmost honesty and
Gov. Lerias, who at one point
was joining about a hundred persons huddled at the Rizal monument across the
city hall, was quoted as saying she was there to maintain the peace and cool her
The protesters peacefully
dispersed shortly before the proclamation of the city winners was made by past 9
pm, it was learned.