ZAMBOANGA SIBUGAY, Philippines – The daughter of the founding father of Zamboanga Sibugay is poised to be proclaimed governor, 12 years after her family lost control of the province’s political leadership.
Zamboanga Sibugay 2nd District Representative Dulce Ann Hofer is set to be proclaimed as the winning gubernatorial candidate by the provincial elections board of canvassers on Tuesday, May 10, with her commanding lead over her closest rival, Representative Wilter “Sharky” Palma II of the province’s 1st District.
Palma’s father and namesake Wilter is the incumbent governor of Zamboanga Sibugay who is also poised to be proclaimed as the new representative of the province’s 1st District.
Some 95.5% of the election returns from 691 of the 723 clustered precincts have been transmitted. As of 5:02 am, Hofer garnered 160,602 votes over Palma’s 137, 572.
Hofer’s running mate, Vice Governor Rey Andre Olegario, is also getting ready to be proclaimed with a comfortable lead – the latest partial and unofficial results showed him with 159,560 votes.
His strongest challenger, provincial board member, and local Liga ng mga Barangay president Jerry Lagas, have so far garnered 97, 914 votes.
Hofer’s brother, George II, is trailing in the race in the congressional race in the province’s 2nd District. But it’s still a neck-and-neck fight between him and his rival Antonietta Eudela who garnered 76,522 votes against George II’s 74, 522.
A distant third in the congressional race in the 2nd District is former vice governor Eldwin Alibutdan who has so far had 12,981 of the ballots cast in his favor.
Sharky’s father Wilter also enjoyed a comfortable lead with 74,001 over physician Apple Cabilao Yambao’s 49,349 votes in the congressional race in the province’s 1st District.
Yambao, who also challenged the younger Palma’s congressional bid in 2019, has already conceded to the governor.
Dulce Hofer and Sharky Palma, who are both allies of President Rodrigo Duterte, have delivered a commanding lead to presidential frontrunner Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and his running mate, Davao City Mayor and presidential daughter Sara Duterte in Zamboanga Sibugay.
As of 5:17 am, Marcos Jr. garnered 162,006 votes while Duterte has 207,045.
Senator Manny Pacquiao comes a distant second with 81,911 votes while Vice President Leni Robredo ranks third with 43,872.
In 2016, Robredo beat Marcos in the province by over 6,000 votes.
In Ipil, the capital town of Zamboanga Sibugay, reelectionist mayor Anamel Olegario is leading with a comfortable margin of over 20,000 votes. All the election returns there have already been transmitted.
Olegario, the sister of the incumbent vice governor, garnered 32,364 votes while her rival, Roseller Briones, only had 9,959. Briones has conceded to Olegario.
Olegario’s running mate, Vice Mayor Rameses Troy Olegario, is also heading for reelection with 29,043 votes over former vice mayor Edward Bordner’s 7,591. – Rappler.com
Antonio Manaytay is a Mindanao-based journalist and an awardee of the Aries Rufo Journalism Fellowship