By SHIELA MAE BUTLIG
HAPPY, sad, bittersweet.
This was how Misamis Oriental Gov. Yevgeny Vincente Emano described what he has been going through as the political leader of the province spoke after taking his oath in his hometown yesterday.
Emano broke his silence and spoke in public about his party’s Pyrrhic victory in the May elections. While Emano won a fresh mandate and most of his candidates for provincial board seats emerged victorious, his Padayon Pilipino party lost in its bid to win strategic and key positions both in Misamis Oriental and Cagayan de Oro.
Emano said, “Sakit makit-an ang akong mga kauban nga naparot sa election. It pains me. When you’re the leader of the province, it is very painful.”
“For you who did not make it, I’m sorry, I apologize. I was not able to make us all win. I apologize sincerely,” added Emano, his voice cracking.
One of those who lost was his running mate and brother-in-law President Elipe. Yesterday, Elipe, an appointed provincial board member, joined members of the Emano family on stage and stood behind the governor as he took his oath of office before barangay chairman Porferio Donque Jr. of Eureka, Gingoog City.
Had Elipe won in the vice gubernatorial race, the Padayon Pilipino would have complete control of the next provincial board. Elipe lost to provincial board member Jeremy Pelaez whose brother Jose Mari is the outgoing vice governor.
The Padayon Pilipino also failed to win the congressional seat in the province’s 2nd District where Rep. Juliette Uy won a fresh mandate against Emano’s candidate, former Cagayan de Oro congressman Jose Benjamin Benaldo.
For the first time in decades, the Emanos lost in Tagoloan, their hometown and political bailiwick. The governor’s cousin, Tagoloan Mayor Mayor Heckert Jude Emano, was unseated by the now mayor-elect Gomer Sabio.
Emano said while the Padayon Pilipino lost the mayoral post in his hometown, “we will continue to serve Tagoloan.”
He said the Padayon Pilipino losses were a “temporary setback.”
In Cagayan de Oro, the only Padayon Pilipino member who won a seat in city hall is Councilor Lordan Suan.
Suan opted to join his counterparts in the province in swearing in yesterday at the Tagoloan Dome.
Other Padayon Pilipino members who took their oath as members of the next provincial board were Frederick Khu, Wayne Militante, Vincent Pelaez, Virgillia Dumadag, Gerardo Sabal III, Nancy Madjos, Syrae Mae Emano, and Dexter Yasay.
Emano said he would have been happier if he lost but all his partymates won.
Aggravating the heavy toll on the Padayon Pilipino is the lost of the party’s founder, former governor and mayor Vicente Emano, just days before the elections.
“It had been very painful — nawad an mi ug amahan, nawad an ug amahan ang partido Padayon Pilipino,” the governor said.
Emano added: “But the people had spoken. Our people chose already, and we must respect that.
“We won some, we lost some, there are ups, there are also setbacks.”
Emano said the capitol would pursue its tourism program in the province during his last three years as governor. “I believe and will always believe in our tourism,” he said.
He also promised that he would step down in 2022 with a clean record and that “di ko mangawat sa kwarta sa atong lalawigan.”