Newly-elected officials for this highly-urbanized city were proclaimed more than eight hours after polling centers officially closed at 6 p.m. on Monday.
The Board of Canvassers, chaired by lawyer Mavil M. Sia, formally convened at 3 p.m. on Monday to establish linkage for the transmission of votes. After establishing the transmissions and rules were laid down, the board called for a recess and reconvened at 6 p.m.
At around 2:45 a.m. of Tuesday, the hands of the newly-elected set of officials were raised. Based on the Comelec data, 76.16 percent or equivalent to 224, 526 out of the 294, 776 registered voters of Iloilo City participated in the election.
Julienne Baronda, the former chief political officer of Senator JV Ejercito, won the city’s lone congressional seat with 115,148 votes against the 74,012 votes of her closest rival, incumbent city councilor Joshua Alim.
Meantime, incumbent Iloilo City Lone District Rep. Jerry P. Treñas also garnered 134,143 votes to clinch the mayoral seat from six other contenders to include his brother-in-law and incumbent mayor Jose Espinosa III, who only got 65,724 votes. Pacita Gonzalez, wife of former Justice Secretary Raul Gonzales, only received 11,934 votes.
Incumbent vice-mayor Jeffrey Ganzon was able to defend his post with his 119,112 votes versus contenders Plaridel Nava and R Leone Gerochi, both incumbent councilors.
Baronda, in a text message Tuesday morning, expressed her gratitude for the mandate that was given to her by the people of Iloilo City. “My win is the victory of the Ilonggos. Their hope is here. I will not fail them and their hope for a greater Iloilo City,” she said.
Baronda, while chief political officer of Ejercito, was responsible in making coordination for the establishment of the Regional Heart and Lung Center of the Western Visayas Medical Center and the Heart, Lung and Kidney Center of the West Visayas State University Medical Center (WVSUMC), both in Iloilo City.
On the other hand, Treñas said that he is now ready to bring Iloilo City to the next level. Prior, he also completed his three-term as mayor of Iloilo City starting 2001.
Also proclaimed were reelectionist councilors Lady Julie Grace Baronda, Armand Parcon, Jay Treñas and Ely Estante and councilors-elect Rudolf Ganzon, Rommel Duron, Allan Zaldivar and Jojo Javellana.
Reelectionists Lydon Acap, Dr. Candice Magdalane Tupas, Eduardo Peñaredondo and Mandrei Malabor were not present during the proclamation.
Sia said that the board will convene at 1 PM Tuesday to attend to other matters and officially close the canvassing center at the Diamond Jubilee Hall in Mabini Street.
In a previous interview, Sia said that the priority of the board is to make sure that they can proclaim as soon as possible. She said that she tried to bypass all protocols to secure the configuration of the corrupted SD card that was intended for clustered precinct 27 in Barangay Monica Blumentritt, City Proper district.
“In 2016 in Bacolod at 5 a.m. I was able to proclaim and I don’t want to break my record,” she shared.
The venue of the canvassing and proclamation of winners was at the second floor of the Diamond Jubilee Hall in Mabini Street, City Proper district. (PNA)
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