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122 bets needed only one vote to win

IT WAS a breeze for 122 candidates nationwide who ran unopposed in yesterday's elections.

For a number of them, sure victory was made possible because their opponents were disqualified or withdrew from the race.

In General Santos City, the Commission on Elections' second division disqualified Juan Domino of the opposition Laban ng Makabayang Masang Pilipino from the congressional race in the lone district of Sarangani province.

Domino was found to have lacked the one-year residency requirement. He was a resident of Old Balara in Quezon City, where he registered as a voter on June 22, 1997. It was only in October that he registered as a voter in Alabel, Sarangani.

His disqualification led to the unopposed victory of Lucille Chiongbian-Solon, daughter of Rep. James Chiongbian. Both  are from the ruling Lakas-NUCD.

In Maguindanao, two mayoral candidates--Saudi Ampatuan of Datu Piang and Datu Puti    Ampatuan of Sharif Aguak--ran uncontested.

Ampatuan's two rivals said they did not want to tangle with the Ampatuan clan and withdrew their candidacies late last month.

In Davao del Sur, the congressional seat in the second district was a cinch for Claudie Bautista, former provincial board member.

Other unopposed candidates in Mindanao were Emilio Alo Jr. (Lakas) for mayor of Maco, Davao del Norte; Salvador Lagos Jr. (Nationalist People's Coalition), vice mayor of Tantangan, South Cotabato; Jose Basoc (Lakas), vice mayor of Caraga, Davao Oriental; and Suharto Magudatu, mayor of Lutayan, Sultan Kudarat.

The Visayas

In the Visayas, two congressional, six mayoral and three vice mayoral candidates, as well as a candidate for a provincial board seat, ran unopposed and needed just one vote to win.

The two congressional candidates ran in Negros Occidental--Julio Ledesma IV of the first district and Alfredo Marañon of the fifth district. Both are on their second terms.

Marañon's brother, Joseph, also sought another term as mayor of Sagay without an opponent, together with running mate Fortunato Javelosa.

The other unopposed candidates in the province were Jose Benito Alonzo, who ran for mayor of Pontevedra, and Rolando Ponsica, who sought a provincial board seat representing the first district.

In Capiz, the unopposed candidates were reelectionist Mayors Heracleo Benjamin (Liberal Party) of Dumarao and Roberto R. Sualog (Lakas, Andaya wing) of Sigma.

Those who ran uncontested in Bohol were reelectionist Mayors Romeo Labor of Cortes and Germinio Relampagos of Dagohoy, and Vice Mayors Virgilio Lurot of Catigbian and Emmanuel
Caberte of Sevilla.

Luzon

In the Cordillera, reelectionist Rep. Elias Bulut of the lone district of Apayao ran unopposed.
The others unopposed were reelectionist Gov. Batara Laoat and vice gubernatorial candidate Paul Delwasan, both of Apayao, and Calanasan vice mayoral candidate Dionicio Agubo.   The same was true of Camilo Lammawin (Lakas), vice mayoral candidate of Tabuk, Kalinga.

In Abra, Manuel Cokue (Lakas), Clarence Benwaten, and Pacita Baliao-as ran uncontested as mayoral candidates in the towns of Daguioman, Tineg and Boliney.

In the Ilocos region, reelectionist Pangasinan Representatives Hernani Braganza (first district) and Amadeo Perez Jr. (fifth district) won with no sweat. Three opponents of reelectionist Mayor Alipio Fernandez Jr. of  Dagupan City withdrew a week before May 11, thereby handing him another term.

In Cagayan Valley, Isabela vice gubernatorial candidate Edwin Uy (Lakas) was unopposed. So was reelectionist Mayor Carlito Saplan of Sta. Barbara, Pangasinan.

Aquiles Z. Zonio, Charlie S. Señase, and Allan Nawal, PDI Mindanao Bureau; Carla P. Gomez, Gerry T. Pagharion and Chito A. Fuentes, PDI Visayas Bureau; Vincent Isleta, PDI Northern Luzon Bureau

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Christian Action for Peaceful and Meaningful Elections
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