Political families, re-elections, and a few new faces

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ZAMBOANGA SIBUGAY, Philippines

As the May 9 polls came to an end, political families dominated, 11 mayors were re-elected, and five new mayors emerged in Zamboanga Sibugay.

The daughter of the founding father of Zamboanga Sibugay was proclaimed on Wednesday, May 11 as the new governor marking her family’s return to the province’s top post held by her father from 2001 until 2010.

Second district representative Dulce Ann Hofer thumped her rival, first district representative Sharky Palma, son of the the incumbent Governor Wilter Palma, with a commanding lead of over 20,000 votes.

Hofer has garnered 168,373 votes over Palma’s 143,539.

Hofer’s running mate and incumbent Vice Governor Rey Andre Olegario, who also belongs to a political family in Ipil town, the provincial capital, also won with 166,977 votes over Provincial Federation of Barangay Captains president Jerry Lagas with 102,160.

But her brother, George Hofer II, a namesake of the late Governor George Hofer, widely acknowledged as the founding father of the province, lost to Antonietta Eudela with a margin of over 1,000 votes. Former vice governor Eldwin Alibutdan is a distant third with 13, 182 votes.

Sharky’s father, however, had secured the congressional post in the first district of the province vacated by his son with 77, 268 over Dr. Apple Cabilao Yambao’s 52,269.

Dynasties, re-elected, new faces

Eleven of the 16 municipal mayors were re-elected, including the six political families.

Tungawan town, Mayor Carlnan Climaco, whose family had dominated the local politics for almost two decades, was re-elected.

The Piodenas in R.T. Lim town had successfully defended their turf. Michael, who had been serving as vice mayor and mayor alternately with his father, Danilo, since 2001 won the mayoralty race against businessman Joshua Baroro. Danilo Piodena, the incumbent mayor, was succcessful in his run for vice mayor against Apple Mae Malaki.

In Ipil, the capital town of the province, Mayor Anamel Olegario, sister of the incumbent vice governor, defeated her rival, businessman Roseller Briones, with a resounding majority. Her 32,364 votes eclipsed her rival’s 9,959.

Other political families who retained their hold on their respective turf were Kabasalan Mayor Katrina Balladares, Siay Mayor Jarvis Acosta, and Diplahan Mayor Eric Palma.

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Re-electionist mayors who also won were Rino de los Reyes of Naga; Leonardo Talania of Titay, Dionesia Lagas of Buug; Edreluisa Calonge of Mabuhay, and Arthur Ruste, Sr. of Olutanga.

Elected as new mayors were Alvie Musa of Alicia, Joshua Mendoza of Payao, Gilbert Edem of Talusan, Jerry Silva of Imelda, and Michael Piodena of R.T. Lim.

This story is supported by Internews under the Internews Philippines Story Grants 2022.

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