Changing of the guards in Central Mindanao

THERE was a changing of political landscape in Central Mindanao with local officials already being proclaimed following the May 13 national and local elections which had been generally regarded as one of the most peaceful in the region in recent years.

Philippine National Police Deputy Chief for Operations and the head of the National Task Force SAFE 2019, Lieutenant General Archie Francisco F. Gamboa and Police Regional Office 12 director, Brigadier General Eliseo T. Rasco toured the region to oversee the strict implementation of safety and security measures on Election Day.

Monday’s poll saw Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP) bet Reynaldo  Tamayo Jr. unseating Daisy Fuentes of the Nationalist People’s Coalition as governor of South Cotabato.  A 3-term mayor of Tupi, South Cotabato, Tamayo beat Fuentes by nearly 27,000 votes.

His victory ended the rule of Fuentes in South Cotabato which she led either as governor or congressional representative in the past 27 years. Fuentes was provincial governor for 15 years and  Representative of South Cotabato’s 2nd District for 12 years.

Shirlyn Banas of PDP-Laban was elected as new South Cotabato 1st District Representative while Dinard Hernandez, also of PDP-Laban was elected as new South Cotabato District 2 Representative.

In Sultan Kudarat, NUP’s Teng Mangudadatu won as governor beating his closest rival by more than 180,000 votes. Bai Rihan Sakaluran of NUP was elected as the province (1st District) representative while Toto Suansing of PDP-Laban won as new representative of Sultan Kudarat’s 2nd District scoring more than 100,000 votes versus his closest opponent.

In Sarangani, PDP-Laban’s Steve Solon won as new governor garnering nearly 138,000 votes over his closest rival.  PDP-Laban’s Ruel Pacquiao also won as Sarangani Representative by more than 172,000 votes.

On the other hand, Mayor Cynthia Guiani-Sayadi of NPC was reelected as Cotabato City mayor scoring more than 13,000 votes against her closest rival.

In North Cotabato, PDP-Laban’s Nancy Catamco, an outgoing 3-term representative of Cotabato’s 2nd District was elected as new provincial governor beating her closest opponent by some 4,000 votes.

Elected as North Cotabato (1st District) Representative was Josel Sacdalan of PDP-Laban while Rudy Caoagdan of the NP was voted as 2nd District Representative. Pingping Tejada, also of NP was elected as 3rd District representative.

Rasco declared as generally peaceful the holding of the national and local elections in the entire region last Monday.  

The Central Mindanao police director said they arrested 26 men for violation of the liquor ban and 10 others for vote-buying. Rasco said that recovered from the vote-buyers were P205,260, 12 sacks of rice and one motorcycle.

The official said  136 others had been arrested for violation of the gun ban since last January 13 to date in the region. Seized from the gun ban offenders were 118 assorted firearms.

Rasco said a total of 9,370 policemen and soldiers were deployed to secure 1,392 polling centers and 15,728 polling precincts in the region.

He said that they monitored the presence of some Vote Counting Machines which malfunctioned in some areas in the region last Monday although they were immediately addressed by poll officials.