By NITZ ARANCON
LOSING mayoral candidate Benjamin Tiu Contreras yesterday unleashed a scathing criticism against those who rejected him in last week’s elections, saying that none of them wanted the “honest governance” that he had offered them. He also accused them of selling their votes.
The sweeping accusation came a week after Contreras failed to win a significant number of the 252,017 voters who cast their vote for the mayoral candidates in the elections Monday last week. Of the 252,017 voters, 251,071 rejected Contreras’s bid to become the political leader of the city.
“Pilde ko kay wala may gusto sa honest governance. Dili man gusto ang mga tawo anang tino-oray nga pangagamhanan. Dili sila gusto ana tanan. Ang ilang gusto sapi,” Contreras said.
He and two other politicians — former Agriculture undersecretary Jose Gabriel La Viña and Felix Borres — had challenged the reelection bid of Mayor Oscar Moreno. But in the end, Moreno dominated the mayoral race, receiving 159,172 or over 60 percent of the total votes cast.
La Viña, who was backed by the Padayon Pilipino and the Centrist Democratic Party, came in a poor second with 90,834 votes, based on the Commission on Elections’ official and final count.
Contreras was last in the political competition; Borres, a perennial mayoral candidate, received 11 votes more than him. The votes cast in their favor — 1,011 and 1,000, respectively — were insignificant.
While Contreras did not attribute his abasing performance to vote buying, he called on the Comelec to do something about the allegations on the use money to win votes.
Contreras said that during the election campaign, he was asked by people if he had money to give in exchange for their votes. He said he told them straight that he had no plans to give them money.
He claimed that he told voters straight: “Kay nganong manghatag man ko? Serbisyohan ta pa mo, manghatag pa ko, paliton pa nako inyong boto? Kahayahay ba ninyo.”
He called the just-held elections “binuang” because of what he called as massive vote buying.
Contreras however said he has no plans of filing charges against other politicians who resorted to vote buying, saying it would be a “useless” undertaking.
“Dili na lang ko ana kay tanan na-ay presyo,” he said.
But Contreras wants others to do what he is unwilling to do himself. He called on “courageous” residents to come forward and press charges against those who engaged in vote buying.
“Dili man bota ang atong mga police. Dili man bota atong Comelec. Ila untang pasaka-an sa kaso ang namalit ug mga boto,” he said.