RETIRED police general Vicente “Vic” Loot won the mayoralty race in Daanbantayan town in northern Cebu by seven votes, defeating reelectionist Mayor Augusto “Itok” Corro.
Municipal Election Officer Desierto Hortelano Jr. proclaimed Loot as mayor-elect after the latter garnered 20,412 votes.
Corro, a first-termer seeking a fresh mandate, got 20,405 votes. He is allied with the Liberal Party.
The United Nationalist Alliance-affiliated Loot described his victory as a “buzzer-beater shot” in a basketball game, when asked by reporters about the slim margin of votes he got.
“It only takes one vote to win,” he said.
Supt. Anthony Bagarinao of Cebu Provincial Police Office described the elections in the fourth congressional district as peaceful.
Loot sat inside the Municipal Council’s session hall where the canvassing was held.
After Hortelano read the results, Loot was greeted by his friends, supporters, and family including former Daanbantayan mayor Ma. Luisa Loot and stepson Sun Shimura.
Corro said he was surprised by the result, but he is willing to accept defeat.
“I’m used to accepting defeat. But in other ways, it should be reassessed why Loot won… I’m not really a crybaby, but what I have observed, he has many goons,” he told reporters.
Corro said he will file complaints against Loot for allegedly harassing his supporters.
Loot denied the allegations and said he is willing to face any complaint.
The mayor-elect, who retired from the Philippine National Police in July last year, said he hopes the conflict between him and Corro will end.
“I would like to congratulate Mayor Corro for a job well done, for giving me a good fight and getting the best out of me, considering I am a neophyte. Nanghinaot ako karon nga we will put to end to all this heckling and smearing,” he said.
Interviewed separately, Corro said Loot should start reconciling with the people.
“Reconciliation is not with me. Reconciliation is with the people. What do I mean by that? Ayaw nag daog-daoga ang mga tawo (Stop harassing the people),” he said.
The canvassing of election returns was delayed last Monday after two vote counting machines from the islet barangay of Carnaza failed to transmit the votes. The village is 18 nautical miles from the mainland.
Rafael Viloria, a teacher at Carnaza Elementary School, said there was a signal last Monday night, but they could not transmit.
They traveled yesterday morning for two hours on two separate wooden boats and arrived around 9 a.m. at the back of the Daanbantayan Municipal Hall.
The teachers transmitted the results around 9:20 a.m.
Loot said he hopes to work with his political enemies for the future of the town.
“Magtinabangay lang mi aron ibalik ang kanhi kanindot sa lungsod sa Daanbantayan (We need to work together),” he said.