Butch Abad wife wins hairline victory in Batanes

Carmela Fonbuena
In Batanes, the Catholic vote almost cost Rep Dina Abad her re-election

(Photo from Rep Dina Abad congressional staff)

MANILA, Philippines – Budget Secretary Florencio Abad believes it was his wife’s vote approving the Reproductive Health (RH) law in December 2012 that almost cost her the congressional race.

Rep Henedina Abad of the Liberal Party won a hairline victory over independent candidate Carlo Diasnes to retain her seat in the House of Representatives. 

In the small province of about 10,000 voters, Abad got 3,813 votes while Diasnes got 3,676 votes. It’s a difference of only 137 votes. United Nationalist Alliance candidate Joel Mendoza got 847 votes.  

Butch Abad said it was a “tight elections” because his wife lost the support of the Anti-RH Catholic Church, which he said is influential in Batanes. Abad also cited the family’s falling out with re-elected Gov Vicente Gato. 

A longtime professor at the Ateneo de Manila University, Dina Abad was one of the key lawmakers who pushed for the approval of the RH law in the House of Representatives.

Comelec proclaimed Rep Dina Abad the winner in the congressional race 12 a.m. on Wednesday, May 15. 

Because of problems with transmission, the Comelec transparency server was still showing Diasnes leading Abad by 16 votes with 52% of the votes were transmitted.

Batanes had to finish the canvassing process manually. “The problem last night was it was raining. There was a problem with transmission,” Butch Abad said.

The 2013 elections proceeded smoothly. Precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines were able to count the votes and print electronic returns (ERs) for the political parties. But some PCOS machines encountered problems transmitting results. They had to be brought to the canvassing centers manually. – Rappler.com

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