By The EDGE DAVAO EDITORIAL TEAM
With major upsets and surprises, Davao Region’s political landscape is up for a makeover following Monday’s elections.
While Davao saw the emergence of two new political torchbearers in Christopher “Bong” Go, President Rodrigo Duterte’s top aide, and Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, the former Philippine National Police chief and head of the Bureau of Corrections, who are expected to finish safely into the Magic 12 of the Senatorial race, it will also see some old household names swept away in the tumultuous political battle that just ended.
Perhaps the biggest shake-up will be in nearby Davao del Norte–a known bailiwick of the Del Rosarios and the Floirendos for decades. The major casualties are two Del Rosarios–incumbent Governor Anthony and brother Rodney — and their cousin reelectionist Congressman Tonyboy Floirendo.
Anthony was trailing by a wide margin to incumbent Congressman and former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez in the congressional battle for Davao del Norte’s first district. Anthony has conceded early Tuesday.
Part of Del Rosario’s post on his social media page read: “Sa tibuok Davao del Norte, ania lang ako, ania lang ang among pamilya nga andam mutabang kaninyo. Hinumdumi nga ang tanan nakong gibuhat isip Congressman ug isip Gobernador gibuhat nako alang sa katawhan sa Davao del Norte.”(To all Davao del Norte citizens, I am just here, our family is always ready to help you. Please remember that all I have done as your congressman and later as governor was for all the people of Davao del Norte). His brother Rodney, in his baptism of fire in politics, is trailing Alvarez’s top aide Edwin Jubahib in the gubernatorial race in another surprisingly one-sided battle. Jubahib’s runningmate former Tagum City Mayor Rey Uy is leading his rival Joey Millan for Vice Governor.
In the second district, incumbent vice governor Allan Dujali is poised to score a major upset over Floirendo, who during the campaign period declared his intentions of vying for House Speaker. Floirendo is at loggerheads with former bossom buddy Alvarez.
Part of the Facebook post of Rep Floirendo states “Our family have shared with the people of Davao del Norte, for the past half a century, the best we could offer. I pray that our province would continue to prosper under the new leaders.
“I will continue to be of service to the people of Davao del Norte for the remaining weeks of my term as your congressman. I will work hard that all projects lined up for this year would not be hampered. ”
“I have served truthfully and i could proudly say that straight into anyone’s eyes.
“I would like to thank all those who supported me in this fight. to my volunteers most especially. You are the family that I never had. Thank you for being there through thick and thin. No amount of money can repay your love and effort.
“I tell you we did not fail, for we chose an honorable and dignified campaign. Rest assured that there are more to life than politics.
“Daghang salamat sa gugma na inyong gipakita kanako! (Thank for the love that you have shown me).”
In Panabo City, there will also be a change in the mayorship as incumbent mayor James Gamao lags behind clear frontrunner Joe Relampagos.
In Mati City, former Mayor Michelle Rabat is bound to unseat cousin and third-term seeking Mayor Carlo Rabat in a closely-fought contest. Incumbent Vice Mayor Glenda Rabat-Gayta, another cousin, is in the cusp of winning a very tight battle against incumbent councilor Gingging Tiago for vice mayor.
In the provincial race, Governor Nelson Dayanghirang and Congressional representatives Corazon Malanyaon and Joel Mayo Almario will roll into their next terms unopposed.
Elsewhere in Davao de Oro (Compostela Valley), Davao Occidental and Davao del Sur, the elections went true to form.
Davao de Oro Governor Jayvee Tyron Uy, Vice Governor Maricar Zamora (outgoing first district representative) and second district Congressman Ruwel Peter Gonzaga ran unopposed , while comebacking Manuel “Way Kurat” Zamora is leading Franco Tito in the first district.
In Davao Occidental, Governor Claude Bautista, Vice Governor Franklin Bautista and Congressman Lorna Bandigan ran unopposed.
In Davao del Sur, the Cagases are taking the province’s top three spots with patriarch Douglas Cagas a runaway gubernatorial race winner over Joseph Peñas, as well as son Marc Douglas Cagas who leads Aileen Almendras for Vice Governor. Incumbent Rep. Mercedes Cagas is showing the way against Juanito Morales in the congressional showdown.
Amidst the musical chairs in other provinces and cities, Davao City remained a solid Duterte country. Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio coasted to a clear victory over token opposition while brother Baste Duterte is poised to become the next Vice Mayor. Former Vice Mayor Pulong Duterte, meantime, will be the next first district representative while comebacking Vincent Garcia (second district) and Isidro Ungab (third district) will take the other two legislative representations. The Commission on Elections in Davao City has proclaimed Garcia and Ungab along with the winning 16 councilors in the third and second districts.
Over in South Cotabato, the landscape is also bound to change.
Incumbent Governor Daisy Avance-Fuentes appeared to have lost her bid for a third straight term to challenger three-term Mayor Reynaldo Tamayo Jr. of Tupi town, based on the partial and unofficial count. As of Tuesday noon, Tamayo already garnered a total of 221,653 votes, while Fuentes was trailing with 194,721, or a margin of 26,932, with 99.72 percent of election returns already counted.