CABANATUAN CITY - A new political landscape is expected to develop in Nueva Ecija with the election of Third District Rep. Aurelio M. Umali of Lakas-CMD as the new governor, with senior board member Edward Thomas Joson of Bagong Lakas ng Nueva Ecija-Kampi as vice-governor.
Umali was proclaimed by the provincial board of canvassers headed by Atty. Emmanuel Ignacio, provincial election supervisor on Sunday, as the winner in the May 14 gubernatorial race having garnered 434,445 votes as against his rival, Mariano Cristino Joson’s 314,335 votes.
The younger Joson, meanwhile, garnered 392,031 votes to win the vice gubernatorial fight over Jose Taruc V who got 327,015 votes.
Umali said the mandate that the Novo Ecijanos gave him only confirm that the province wants change. “This is a vote for change,” he told reporters.
Ironically, as governor, Umali has to work at the provincial Capitol where most people belong to the party of the Josons. Besides Joson as vice-governor, political observers noted that the Sangguniang Panlalawigan is filled up with members affiliated with Balane-Kampi, except for Second District’s Joseph Ortiz (Lakas-CMD).
The board members-elect are Rommel Padilla, Eric Salazar, Cesar Cucio (First District), Wilfredo Munsayac, Ortiz (Second District), Raqueliza Agapito, Melchor Morales (Third District) Teresita Patiag, Zaldy Matias and Romanito Juatco (Fourth District).
For the Congress, Umali has two allies and two from the Josons. They are Congressmen-elect Eduardo Nonato Joson (First District, Balane), Joseph Violago (Second District, Lakas), Czarina Umali (Third District, Lakas) and Rodolfo Antonino (Fourth District, Balane-Kampi).
Meanwhile, in Talavera, the son-in-law of TU senatorial candidate Tito Sotto and actress Helen Gamboa, and the actor brother of action star Robin Padilla proved their showbiz connection working to their favor when they emerged winning the recently concluded midterm elections in Nueva Ecija. Not as lucky though was Barbara Milano who lost her bid for reelection as Talavera councilor.
Francis Vincent de Leon, 29, husband of Quezon City Councilor Lala Sotto (3rd district) won by a landslide as vice-mayor of Talavera with 23,142 votes over his rival and reelectionist Vice Mayor Maritess Gaboy’s 17,714.
He ran under the banner of Bagong Lakas ng Nueva Ecija-Kampi as running mate of re-electionist Mayor Nerito Santos who won another mandate.
In his campaign, the business administration graduate from De La Salle University de Leon used the slogan “Manugang ni Tito Sotto at Helen Gamboa.” His wife, Lala, who also appeared in at least five movies during her younger years, joined him in some sorties in Talavera. His father also served as councilman of Bongabon, Nueva Ecija.
Actor Rommel Padilla, brother of Robin Padilla, also won big as member of the Nueva Ecija provincial board representing the First District. He obtained more than 104,000 votes topping the roster of elected board members. Padilla’s mother, Eva Cariño, is from Barangay Nagmisahan, Cuyapo.
But while de Leon and Padilla were a hit, former sexy start Barabara Milano, whose real name is Anabel Ramos, failed to receive a fresh mandates as councilor from her constituents in Talavera town. Milano who run under Lakas-CMD was elected number one in the race for a council seat in 2004. This time around though, she emerged ninth for the eight-member council election. -Armand M. Galang, The Manila Times