By LITO RULONA with SHIELA MAE BUTLIG
MISAMIS Oriental Gov. Yevgeny Vincente Emano emerged dominant in his bid for a third and last office term but he and his family’s political grip in the province and the city weakened, results of Monday’s elections show.
As of yesterday morning, results show Emano defeating former vice governor Julio Uy of the National Unity Party (NUP) by a wide margin and his Padayon Pilipino ticket winning most of the seats in the provincial board.
Partial election results, representing 97.71 percent of the votes cast, show Emano dominating the race with 245,407 votes against Uy’s 194,608 and independent candidate Manuel Po’s 3,175.
But the Emanos have lost their political bailiwick, the 2nd District town of Tagoloan, ending the family’s four-decade reign in the vote-rich municipality. There, Gomer Enan Sabio defeated Emano’s cousin, reelectionist Mayor Hernando Heckert Jude Emano, by 855 votes. Sabio bagged 16,816 votes against Mayor Emano’s 15,961.
The Emanos ruled in Tagoloan for four decades starting with the election of Gov. Emano’s late father Vicente as town mayor. The elder Emano, who subsequently became governor and mayor of Cagayan de Oro, was succeeded in Tagoloan by his brother Paulino, son Yevgeny Vincente, and nephew Heckert Jude Emano.
Another Sabio, Robinson, also won in Tagoloan’s vice mayoral race. Elected town councilors were Roger Achas, Cat Alfante, Arturo Casiño, Armando Pomar, Randy Emano, Ignacio Factura, Felipe Valdehuesa, and Audie Paduganan.
The governor’s brother-in-law and running mate, provincial board member President Elipe, is also losing the vice gubernatorial race to another provincial board member, Jeremy Pelaez. Partial results show Pelaez winning big with 208,699 votes against Elipe’s 180,902.
Gov. Emano’s sister Nadya Elipe, who replaced their father Vicente who died a week before election day, is also losing to reelectionist Vice Mayor Raineir Joaquin Uy in Cagayan de Oro.
In the city, members of the Emano-led Padayon Pilipino lost the race for city council seats except for reelectionist Councilor Lordan Suan. He would become the lone Padayon Pilipino member in the city council.
Another winner in the race for the city council whom the Padayon Pilipino supported is former Nazareth barangay chairperson Jocelyn Rodriguez but she is a member of the Centrist Democratic Party (CDP) headed by her brother, returning congressman Rufus Rodriguez of the city’s 2nd District.
The rest of the winning candidates for city council seats are with the PDP-Laban ticket of Mayor Oscar Moreno.
Emano’s long-time political ally, former Cagayan de Oro 1st District congressman Jose Benjamin Benaldo, also lost to reelectionist Rep. Juliette Uy in the province’s 2nd District.
Rep. Uy, wife of Emano’s challenger, is way ahead with 156,756 votes against Benaldo’s 73,700 and former congressman Augusto Baculio Jr.’s 13,048.
In the province’s 1st District, an Emano ally, Christian Unabia would likely replace his father Peter as congressman. But the elder Unabia, who ran for vice mayor in Gingoog, has a record of severing his ties with the Emanos and forging alliances with Padayon Pilipino’s enemies.
Based on the partial count, the younger Unabia is winning with 100,755 votes against Vice Gov. Jose Mari Pelaez’s 83,527, Cancio Guibone’ 2,216, and Alberto Tamayo’s 871.
The partial results also show Emano’s Padayon Pilipino heading for a big win in the race for provincial board seats with NUP winning only two.
In the province’s 1st District, winning candidates are Wayne Militante with 100,308 votes; Jerry Khu with 85,301; Erik Khu with 80,897; Virgilia Dumadag with 79,237, and Vicente Pelaez with 78,586. Only Jerry Khu is with the NUP.
In the 2nd District, the winning candidates are Syremae Emano with 117,750 votes; Nancy Madjos with 101,780; Jessa Mugot with 96,221; Gerardo Sabal III with 93,845; and Dexter Yasay with 92,531 votes. Only Mugot is with the NUP.