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.
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
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.
In the Cordillera, reelectionist Rep. Elias Bulut of the lone district of Apayao ran
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,
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