Senator Loren Legarda was proclaimed congresswoman-elect of the lone district of Antique by the Provincial Board of Canvassers (PBOC) around midnight Tuesday.
The proclamation was done after the last election result was transmitted from the municipality of Bugasong and amid the attempt of former Congressman Exequiel B. Javier and lawyer Robin Rubinos to have the proclamation deferred.
Lawyer Jobert Pahilga, on behalf of his client Javier who is running against Legarda, submitted an urgent motion to defer the proclamation.
A motion for reconsideration filed by Pahilga seeking to reinstate the disqualification case against Legarda due to residency issues remains pending before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Second Division.
Rubinos, who is also vying for the post, cited the same reason in his urgent motion filed before the PBOC.
Earlier, he also filed a disqualification case against Legarda, which was also denied by the Comelec’s Second Division. His motion for reconsideration is until now pending at the Comelec en banc.
Meanwhile, lawyer Pampross Pagunsan and retired Judge Nery Duremdes, who represented Legarda, however, argued that this is just a dilatory tactic from Javier for Legarda to be proclaimed.
“The Antiqueños have chosen and their votes overwhelming,” Pagunsan said.
Duremdes likewise questioned the urgent motion filed by the lawyer of Javier for his client’s name was even misspelled for instead of correctly spelling it as Exequiel it was spelled as ‘Exeqiuel’.
“This is just an attempt to delay and derail the eventual proclamation,”Duremdes, who is the provincial administrator at the capitol and at the same time practicing as a private lawyer, said.
The PBOC, in its collegial decision rendered by vice-chairperson Provincial Prosecutor Michael Villaret, ruled that they will proceed with the proclamation based on the Comelec General Instruction for Board of Canvassers (BOC) that in such cases that the Comelec En Banc has not yet issued decision on the day of the canvassing the BOC could proceed with the proclamation of any winning candidate.
“In cases wherein a petition to cancel certificate of candidacy remains pending on the day of canvassing and no order of decision has been issued by Comelec en banc the BOC can proceed with the proclamation,” Villaret said.
The decision of the PBOC was met with cheers by the supporters of Legarda.
Legarda won by a landslide vote of 199,187 votes against Javier’s 69,716 and Rubinos’ 1,951 votes.
Other candidates for congressman Antero Villaflor got 701 votes while Rodelo Pidoy got 1,662.
Legarda’s provincial candidates were also proclaimed on the same night.
Incumbent Governor Rhodora J. Cadiao who ran for her 2nd term won 182,026 votes against incumbent Congressman Paolo Everardo Javier’s 91,608 votes.
Incumbent Vice Governor Edgar Denosta who ran for reelection received a fresh mandate from Antiqueños with his 116,851 votes.
Majority of the candidates for provincial board members under the slate of Legarda also won.
For the southern district of Antique They are Mayella Mae Plameras, Fernando Corvera, Vincent Piccio III, Alfie Jay Niquia, and Pio Jessielito Sumande.
For the northern district they are Emmanuel Palacios, Jr., Noel Alamis and Errol Santillan.
Two candidates under the Javier’s camp who won were Karmila Rose Dimamay and Victor Condez. (PNA)
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