GWEN HOLDS 90T LEAD

05/13/2010 - She’s proud of her victory margin of 90,000 votes in the Cebu province race.

Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia was given a fresh mandate for a third term yesterday when she was proclaimed winner of the gubernatorial race, but she said it was the “dirtiest election” by her political rivals and that she was surprised to have lost in 16 towns and cities although most of Cebu province’s local executives were her allies.

“It’s a respectable lead,” she said of the final result:

Garcia won 639,587 votes against Liberal Party contender Hilario “Junjun” Davide III, who got 543,246 votes.

She will continue to govern Cebu with opposition bet Vice Gov. Gregorio Sanchez Jr., who was reelected with 543,924 votes against newcomer Glenn Soco, Garcia’s runningmate, who got 517,687 votes.

Garcia and Sanchez were proclaimed, along with winning congressmen and Provincila Board Members in Cebu’s six districts, at the Capitol social hall.

She assured there would be no reprisal against local executives whose areas didn’t deliver the votes for her. She said she wouldn't believe that she was junked by allies.

Garcia, in a press conference, lamented that attacks in the opposition’s campaign, which highlighted issues of alleged corruption and the need for “change” made it the “dirtiest” and the “worst” she had experienced.

She said she lost her respect for her rival’s father, former Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr. She said she didn't expect him to “stoop to certain low levels in this campaign.” She didn’t elaborate.

“I had requested all our people to hold their punches, not even to bring up the real reason for the impeachment case against him, which involved the rigging of the bidding under his (Supreme) court which involved his son,” she said.

Garcia also lashed at arch critic Cebu City Mayor Tomas OsmeƱa for using “dirty tricks” like mounting billboards mocking her at the South Road Properties, where road signs direct motorists to the “S.U.P. (South Underwarter Properties.)” “A PROUD BLUNDER of Gov. GWEN GARCIA ‘I’m Sorry’”, a reference to the Balili land controversy.

“They have done their worst against me from Tomas the bully, a retired chief justice whom I have lost all respect for, and his son who is running in the name of the father,” Garcia said in a press conference at the Capitol.

And (after everything), I am still standing with a lead of over 90,000.”

Garcia admitted that she was expecting a bigger margin and wondered what happened.

Glitches in the PCOS machines might have affected the votes, she added.

“There needs to be a closer scrutiny of the results and how these results have been delivered. It’s difficult to immediately cast judgement on a mayor or even a district that didn’t deliver. I still take them on good faith,” she added.

Garcia won with a margin of 96,341 votes.

Out of 51 localities in Cebu province, she lost in five cities of Mandaue, Talisay, Bogo, Naga and Carcar and 11 towns --Argao, Consolacion, Daanbantayan, Ginatilan, Malabuyoc, Minglanilla, Moalboal, Oslob, San Fernando, San Remigio, and Tabogon.

Cebu province has 1.8 million registered voters.

Garcia said she and her father, former governor Gov. and now Rep. Pablo Garcia, still held the record of having the biggest winning margin.

Davide conceded defeat in the gubernatorial race and said he hoped that Garcia would use her third term to implement genuine change in her governance.

The vice gubernatorial race was even tighter.

Vice Governor Sanchez was reelected with a margin of f 26, 237.

Sanchez said he was open for reconciliation with his foremer ally as long as Garcia makes the first move.

“If she would only listen, and not be authoritarian, it would be okay to work with her,” Sanchez said.

“I will not initiate. If she calls me, I will go there. I am open for reconciliation but it should come from her—a reconciliation with humility.”

But Governor Garcia said it was too early for reconciliation.

“He may just change his mind again. Liisod na kaayo,” she said. (CebuDailyNews)

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