GENERAL SANTOS CITY – The city's board of canvassers (CBOC) formally proclaimed Tuesday night reelectionist City Mayor Ronnel Rivera and other winning candidates here following hours of delay due to a corrupt secure digital or SD card.
The board reconvened and proclaimed the winners around 9:45 p.m. after completing the canvassing of votes for the last remaining clustered precinct in Barangay Upper Labay that earlier failed to transmit the election results.
Canvassing of votes at the Sangguniang Panlungsod session hall here was suspended temporarily around midnight last Monday with 99.7 percent already counted.
Lawyer April Mitchor-Miguel, city election officer and CBOC chair, said Rivera, who ran under local political party People's Champ Movement (PCM), topped the mayoralty race with total votes of 111,761.
Jacinto "Jay" Omila of the Achiever's with Integrity Movement (AIM) received 83,153 votes while independents former councilor Teodulo "Jong" Ramirez and Boy Borja got 7,074 and 2,123 votes, respectively.
According to the certificate of canvass released by the CBOC, a total of 219,755 of the 301,106 registered voters in the city participated in Monday's elections or a voting turnout of 72.98 percent.
Rivera, who won his third straight term as city mayor, said he will continue to push for the development of the city into a metropolis and address various concerns, among them the city's expanding public transportation system.
"I will do my best to make GenSan a better city and more progressive, and ensure that these will benefit everyone, not only a few," he told reporters.
The mayor said he will also work on the expansion of the city government's existing programs on health, education, social services, housing and relocation as well further strengthen barangay governance.
Also proclaimed as winners were newly-elected Vice Mayor Loreto Acharon of AIM who received 96,673 votes.
Loreto is a younger brother of former mayor and outgoing South Cotabato first district Rep. Pedro Acharon Jr.
He won over Rivera's running mate, Labangal barangay chair Lorelei Pacquiao, sister-in-law of Senator Emannuel "Manny" Pacquiao, who got 88,766 votes.
Lorelei, who represents the Liga ng mga Barangay in the city council, is the wife of the senator’s brother Roberto, an incumbent city councilor.
Roberto "Bobby" Pacquiao did not seek reelection and was instead chosen as the first nominee of OFW Family partylist.
The mayor's elder brother, Ryan, who ran under the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan, only got 15,716 votes in the three-cornered vice-mayoralty race.
The newly-elected city councilors are: Jose Orlando Acharon (AIM), Rosalita Nunez (PCM), Lourdes Casabuena (PCM), Jose Edmar Yumang (PCM), Brix Tan (PCM), Franklin Gacal Jr., (PCM), Shandee Llido-Pestano (PCM), Jonathan Blando (PCM), Vandyke Congson (PCM), Vivencio Dinopol (AIM) and Richard Atendido (AIM).