(UPDATED) Brooke’s Point Mayor Jean Feliciano on early Sunday morning personally conceded to a No vote in the plebiscite in her municipality, acknowledging a loss of “only about 200 votes”.
The outcome of Brooke’s Point’s canvassing, based on unofficial results, stood at 11,816 for Yes and 12,042 for No, a margin of exactly 226 votes.
“TInawag pero hindi pinili. Ibinigay subalit tinanggihan. Sa mga nagsulong at bomoto ng NO, congratulations sa inyo sapagkat nakumbinsi nyo ang ating mga kababayan na wag tanggapin ang pagiging kapitolyo na maglalapit ng serbisyo sa mga tao, magbibigay ng maraming job opportunities at magbubukas ng maraming negosyo,” Mayor Feliciano declared in a Facebook post early Sunday.
Feliciano told Palawan News the final count was determined by the polling results in the “impact areas” of a proposed mining project where the negative vote prevailed, particularly in the barangays of Ipilan, Mambalot and Maasin.
“Yes, nakuha nila ang Ipilan, Mambalot at Maasin,” Feliciano told Palawan News Sunday morning.
“I fought hard para mailagay sa Maasin ang capitol (of the proposed Southern Palawan province) at masagot ang kahirapan ng mga tao doon na karamihan ay charcoal making ang livelihood,” she said.
Brooke’s Point is one of the towns that the “Yes” campaign had expected to win as it had been designated to be the main growth area for the planned new province, considering its link to the potential markets of the BIMP-EACA countries.
Feliciano, who had won three terms on an anti-mining and pro-agriculture platform, admitted she was “discouraged” by her setback and “tired of politics”.
“Yes” sufffers setbacks
The Brooke’s Point loss was a major setback to the overall “Yes” campaign which also suffered a landslide loss in another major southern Palawan town of Narra.
As of Palawan News’ ongoing quick count of partial and unofficial votes for Narra, the No vote garnered 15,268 votes while Yes had only 6,602.
Overall as of 9 pm Satuday and based on Palawan News’ partial and unofficial count, the No vote was leading by a margin of over 20,000 votes on the provincial tally.
Except for Bataraza which has registered a wide margin in favor of Yes — with 9,678 against 4,974 No votes (PN partial, unofficial), the affirmative vote has been struggling based on early counts.
In El Nido, a major vote center for “Nothern Palawan”, the No vote was leading 8,736 against only 4,584 as of Saturday night.
In Coron on Saturday night’s quick count tabulation by Palawan News, No was leading with 5,378 against only 1,161 Yes.
AVT quick count shows “No” winning
Meanwhile, the Apostolic Vicariate of Taytay (AVT) Communications Center-Bantay Palawan Plebisito 2021 has tallied a partial and unofficial count of 44,936 Yes against only 92,972 No votes.
The AVT, along with the civil society group One Palawan, has been in the forefront of the campaign against the proposed division of the province and had been authorized by the poll body to field their own respective poll watchers.
The official canvassing of results by the Provincial Board of Canvassers is scheduled at 2pm Sunday at the Legislative Building of the Provincial Capitol. (with reports from Faith Galicia-Archie)