Pangasinan election canvass over in four days
By Danny O Sagun
Dagupan City (14 May) -- The provincial board of canvassers took at least four days to complete the canvassing of election results from the three cities and 44 towns of Pangasinan due to delays in the transmission of returns caused by the malfunctioning precinct count optical scan machines in some areas.
The last town to transmit results at around past 12 noon of Friday was Agno. The province has some 1.6 million registered voters. Dagupan City, an independent component city, does not vote for provincial officials.
Nevertheless, the PBC proclaimed re-elected Gov. Amado T. Espino, Jr. and Vice-Governor-elect Ferdinand Calimlim even before the Agno returns came as the overall result would no longer be affected considering the wide winning margins between them and their opponents, according to Provincial Election Supervisor Reddy Balarbar.
Espino trounced comebacking Victor E. Agbayani, garnering 833,441 votes as against the latter?s 301,049 votes, or a margin of more than 500,000 votes. Calimlim got 622,728, while his opponent former Vice-Gov. Oscar Lambino had 386,598, or a lead of more than 230,000 votes.
Proclaimed on Friday morning was Congressman-elect Leopoldo Bataoil of the second district. At past 12 noon, the PBC proclaimed re-elected Rep. Rachel Arenas of the third district. Former Bolinao Mayor Jesus Celeste of the first district followed later.
Congresswoman-elect Georgina de Venecia (fourth district) was proclaimed Tuesday while the PBC proclaimed Sison town Mayor Carmen Cojuangco of the fifth district Wednesday night.
Vice-Gov. Marlyn Agabas was the last representative-elect to be proclaimed on Friday.
Also proclaimed were the winning bets for board member: Napoleon Fontelera, Jr and Teofilo Humilde, Jr. (first district), Von Mark Mendoza and Raul Sison (second district), Generoso Tulagan, Jr. and Angel Baniqued (third district), Jeremy Rosario and Mojamito Libunao (fourth district), Danilo Uy and Clemente Arboleda, Jr. (fifth district), and Ranjit Shahani and Alfonso Bince, Jr. (sixth district).
So far no tension was felt at the canvassing of results at the sangguniang panlalawigan session hall unlike in previous elections.
There was tension however in towns where the mayoralty contests were close prompting law enforcement agencies to field more personnel. Comebacking Sta. Barbara Mayor Carlito Zaplan escaped with barely 244 votes over re-electionist Mayor Reynaldo Velasco, while Binmaley Mayor-elect Lorenzo Cerezo beat re-electionist Mayor Simplicio Rosario by just more than 600 votes. Malasiqui Mayor Armando Domantay beat his rival Felicitas Soriano by just more than 700 votes.
Meanwhile, Espino in his proclamation message he read before the media, called on his constituents to set aside political differences. "Let us leave behind the hurts and the ill-feelings brought about by this just-concluded, but necessary, electoral exercise. Together as one provincial family, let us look forward and work together to pave the way for that bright and stable future for our province, for the next generations to come."
He said he will continue his priority programs and projects on peace and order, health care, agriculture and technology, education and sports development.
Asked how he felt in vanquishing the so-called Agbayani magic, the governor said the electorate must have taken note of the change and transformation going on in the province which they affirmed in the just-concluded elections.
He admitted that he and his family voted for the Agbayanis in the past except in 2007. He said that putting the campaign in a higher plane put him in an advantageous position over his opponent, adding that the voters chose him for his performance. (PIA Pangasinan) [top]