This past Monday (May 13), over two hundred thousand people around Muntinlupa City trooped to different venues to cast their votes to select which officials will serve them for the period of mid-2019 to mid-2022.
The result? Landslide victories particularly in the races for Mayor, Vice Mayor and the long Congressional seat of the City.
Muntinlupa City Mayor Jaime Fresnedi won a third consecutive term with landslide victory, along with allies who proved to be strong in the local polls. The mayor defeated his rival former Bureau of Immigration Deputy Commissioner Red Mariñas by a score of 164,144 votes to 52,127. Do that math, that’s a wide margin of 112,017 votes.
In the race for Vice Mayor, Fresnedi’s running mate Temy Simundac defeated the incumbent Vice Mayor Celso Dioko by a score of 116,825 to 85,889. That’s a difference of almost 31,000 votes! What makes the victory notable was that in the 2016 local election, Vice Mayor Dioko was Fresnedi’s running mate while Simundac was one of the latter’s opponents for the office of Mayor.
For the lone Congressional seat of the City, Congressman Ruffy Biazon got elected easily with 169,756. Far behind him were Paeng Arciaga and Rodolfo Llorca with 36,317 and 2,326 respectively.
The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) proclaimed Fresnedi (Liberal Party), and his running mates Temy Simundac for Vice-Mayor and Congressman Ruffy Biazon (both under the PDP-Laban), as winners in on the morning of May 14.
COMELEC Muntinlupa Atty. Kimberley Joy T. Alzate – Cu said the board of canvassers canvassed 373 clustered precincts with over 225,226 voters in Muntinlupa City.
Team Fresnedi City Council bets also took the lead in two districts. In District 1, winning councilors under Fresnedi’s team include Atty. Raul Corro, Alexson Diaz, Paty Katy Boncayao, Louie Arciaga, Allan Camilon, and Valentino Niefes. While completing the list were opposition party bets Phanie Teves and Ivee Arciaga.
In District 2, winners under the local exec’s team include Nep Santiago, Marissa Rongavilla, Ryan Bagatsing, Lester Baes, Jun Metong Sevilla, Arlene Hilapo, and Eliot Martinez. Dhes Arevalo was the only member of the opposition party to be proclaimed as winner in District 2.
The Mayor extended his gratitude to the people of Muntinlupa for trusting his administration and vowed to continue to advocate good governance in the city.
Analysis: Was Mayor Fresnedi’s re-election and his team’s dominance surprising? Not at all since the City was honored with several awards reflecting achievements made with public service. Under his administration, Muntinlupa was declared the Most Business-Friendly City in 2017 and 2018; the Most Child-Friendly City in the National Capital Region in 2016 and 2017; the Outstanding LGU in Nutrition Program Management for 2018
Through the years, the city has garnered several awards and citations from various governing bodies, including the Most Business-Friendly City Award for 2001, 2002, 2017, and 2018; Most Child-Friendly City in NCR for 2016 and 2017; Green Banner Award and Outstanding LGU in Nutrition Program Management for 2018; MERALCO Luminaries Award for 2018; and the Government Efficiency and Resilience Award (3rd Place) in the Regional Competitiveness Summit and Awards for 2017 and 2018 to name some.
Being awarded by credible organizations is a testament of the quality of the public service rendered by the City Government. It really helps not only the city officials but also helps build up the local economy (making it more attractive to investors) and honoring the people of Muntinlupa in return.
Here in the Philippines, national and local elections are held every three years. The democratic exercise has long been a part of Philippine culture. If the incumbents do well with governance, local naturally will prefer to retain them so that the good governance will continue. In situations like these, it is truly difficult for any challenger to overcome the incumbents. Any new challenger can come into arena promising reform but that alone is not good enough to convince people to vote for them. It’s a fact.
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