THE Bacolod City Board of Canvassers (BOC) proclaimed the newly elected city officials dominated by 14 Grupo Progreso candidates at the City Council Session Hall of Bacolod City Government Center Thursday morning, May 16.
The Grupo Progreso, led by reelectionists Mayor Evelio Leonardia, Representative Greg Gasataya, and Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran, and the 12 newly elected councilors were proclaimed winners by the BOC led by city election registrar Ann Janette Lamban as chairman, Perico Hernaez as vice chairman, and lawyer Giovanni Alfonso Miraflores as secretary around 5 a.m. Thursday.
Leonardia garnered 144, 776 votes against 81, 248 votes of his rival Jocelle Batapa-Sigue and 1,762 votes of Ray Carmona.
Gasataya also got 135,346 votes against the 84,705 votes of his rival, former congressman and former Bacolod mayor Monico Puentevella, and 3,751 votes of Kevin Moises.
Familiaran was able to defend his post with his 126,238 votes against 91,821 votes of his rival former vice mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson.
The 12 candidates elected for councilor were Grupo Progreso candidates reelectionist Cindy Rojas, who got 135,011 votes; reelectionist Renecito Novero - 131,672 votes; Barangay Singcang-Airport kagawad Simple Distrito - 123,194 votes; former councilor Carl Lopez - 119,883 votes; former councilor Al Espino - 116,412 votes; former councilor Archie Baribar - 114,567 votes; youth leader Israel Salanga - 114,300 votes; reelectionist Dindo Ramos - 108,218 votes; reelectionist Bartolome Orola; reelectionist Ana Marie Palermo; reelectionist Elmer Sy; and reelectionist Wilson Gamboa Jr. of “Asenso para sa Buas-damlag sang Bacolodnon-Magbinuligay Kita sa Kauswagan,” who garnered 87,301 votes.
Grupo Progreso candidate Marlon Solidum, who was ranked 13th, only garnered 86,627 votes.
The proclamation of winners was delayed after four corrupted secure digital cards were earlier sent to the Commission on Elections in Iloilo City to be fixed.
The transmission of data was done Thursday morning.
Leonardia expressed his gratitude to the people of Bacolod.
Leonardia is again breaking his own records for having the highest number of votes ever garnered by an individual candidate in Bacolod in this year's elections.
Leonardia said that making 14-1 is still a history. It’s the will of the people of Bacolod.
“We are still happy and proud and we were able to almost make it (15-0),” he said.
He added that this is the biggest votes that he ever had.
Leonardia noted that he joined politics and ran for councilor in 1988, he was number one with more than 69,000 votes.
Leonardia had more votes than the candidates for mayor and vice mayor then, and it was the biggest number of votes recorded by any candidate at that time.
When he first ran for mayor in 1995, the 84,000 votes he got was also then the highest at that time. In succeeding elections, he broke his own records with 110,000 votes in 2007 and 120,000 votes in 2016.
“To my beloved people of Bacolod. You have spoken. We are humbled by your will. The mandate you have given me and Grupo Progreso is overwhelming, unprecedented, and historical,” Leonardia said.
He said: “You have given us a mandate like no other in the history of politics in Bacolod. We can only now promise you we will work as no one has ever worked to build a better, stronger Bacolod. At no other time have I realized than now that I am here as leader of our city only because our people wish me to be. Indeed power comes from God through our people. Our people put me here. It is to them that I owe this temporary power. It is for them that I dedicate my service.”
For his part, Familiaran said he’s very happy and overwhelmed of the result.
He said his trust rating also increased compared in previous elections.
“With the full support of Grupo Progreso headed by Mayor Leoonardia and Congressman Gasataya and the entire organization, we got this result including the support of the Iglesia ni Cristo and the endorsement of President Rodrigo Duterte. It’s a big help in our campaign that the voters voted us,” he added.