By Leonardo V. Micua
LINGAYEN, Pangasinan, May 15 — A first of its kind was etched in the political history of Pangasinan during the last election when at least 21 of the 23 incumbent mayors won their reelection bids against their respective opponents.
At least 19 of those reelected, it was learned, belong to the Lakas-Kampi-CMD, the party of Governor Amado Espino Jr. or from other political parties that allied with the party of the governor.
Espino himself made a first in the history of Pangasinan when he won against his opponent by more than half a million votes, already considered a real feat in the province.
Pangasinan has 44 towns and three cities, with the exception of Dagupan City which is separate from the province.
Other incumbent mayors of Pangasinan no longer sought their reelection as they already exhausted their term limits but allowed their kin or allies to run in their turfs.
The reelected local government chief executives were led by three unopposed mayors, namely Vivien Villar of Sto. Tomas, Amado Espino III of Bautista, who is the son of the reelected governor, and Rodrigo Orduna of Bugallon.
Another mayor, a neophyte in politics but packed with experience in public service, who was elected unopposed, is Mapandans Maximo Calimlim Jr., a retired police general.
The winning reelectionist mayors are Alfonso Celeste of Bolinao, Noel Nacar of Dasol, Ruperto Martinez of Infanta, Carlitos Reyes of Mabini, John Rodney Arcinue of Sual, all from the province's first district; Teodoro Cruz of Mangatarem, Ernesto Castaneda of Lingayen, Ernesto Balolong of Urbiztondo, all from the second district; Armando Domantay of Malasiqui, Ricardo M. Camacho of Bayambang, Julier Resuello of San Carlos City, all from the third district;
Napoleon Sales of Manaoag and Herminio Romero of Mangaldan, both from the fourth district; Manuel Collado of Alcala, of the fifth district; Ricardo Revita of Rosales, Leoncio Saldivar III of San Nicolas, Carlos Trese Mapili of Tayug and Eldred Tumbucon of Umingan, all from the sixth district.
Other reelectionists who won but were not political allies of Governor Espino were Mayor Hernani Braganza of Alaminos City and Mayor Marcelo Navarro Jr. of Bani, himself a classmate of Espino in the Philippine Military Academy, Class of 1972.
Interestingly, there are two elected mayors who have similar first names and surnames but have different middle initials. They are Mayor-elect Ricardo O. Camacho of Labrador and reelected Mayor Ricardo M. Camacho of Bayambang.
The other new mayors are Silverio Alarcio Jr. of Laoac, himself a retired police general; Alberto Guiang Jr. of Burgos, Mark Roy Macanlalay of Calasiao, Rafael Rodrigo Jr. of Natividad, Teodoro Ramos of Sta. Maria, come-backing Romulo Antolin of San Quintin, Alain Jericho Perez of San Manuel, Robert De Vera of San Jacinto, Irene Libunao of San Fabian, Libradita Abrenica of Villasis, come-backing Artemio Chan of Pozorrubio, Gregorio Amadeo Perez IV of Urdaneta City, Mina Joy Pangasinan of Sison, Ramon Guico III of Binalonan, Lorenzo Cerezo of Binmaley, also come-backing Carlito Zaplan of Sta. Barbara, Eduardo Ballesteros of Aguilar, Aldrin Celdran of Anda, Heidee Chua of Asingan, Manolito de Leon of Basista and Philipp Peralta of Balungao.
In Dagupan, former Mayor Benjamin Lim also made a come-back by trouncing the incumbent Mayor Alipio Fernandez Jr.
The result of the election in Agno town is still unknown.
Two reelectionist mayors, one of them belonging to Espino's allies, were not lucky.
One of them is Mayor Reynaldo Velasco, a retired police general, of Sta. Barbara town and Espino's upperclassman in the PMA, who lost to Zaplan by just more than 150 votes.
The other is Simplicio Rosario of Binmaley whose six-year reign was ended by Cerezo who won over the former by exactly 666 votes. (PNA) scs/lvm/lvmicua/rma