Re-elected Narra mayor Gerandy Danao said he will let the Sangguniang Bayan (SB) decide on matters involving the controversial mining project in their town.
Danao admitted he had learned his lesson from his previous suspension and would this time let SB members decide.
“Siguro, lahat ng ‘yon ay ibibigay ko muna sa Sanggunian Bayan para mabigyan nila ng magandang aral kung ano ba dapat aralin diyan sa minahan. Kung kailangan bigyan ng aksyon, bigyan ng aksyon. Ibibigay ko lahat sa kanila ‘yan dahil sila naman nag-apruba niyan hindi naman ako,” Danao said.
“Sila ang nagbigay sa akin ng aral, tinuruan nila ako kung paano ako matuto,” he added.
Danao secured his second term after garnering 20,591 votes, defeating board member Clarito “Prince” Demaala, who gained 16,659.
In 2019, he also defeated Demaala’s mother, Lucena, which ended the family’s 30-year hold on politics.
“Hindi ba ako nangarap na maghagilap ng ganoong kalaking tulong ng mga tao – ‘yon ay pinasasalamatan ko sa taumbayan,” he said.
On the other hand, Marcelino Calso Jr. won as vice mayor, defeating Danao’s running-mate Edmond “Jojo” Gastanes and six others.
Elected as Sanggunian Bayan are Nonoy Verano, Joel Bito-onon, Ipe Argueza, Joy Mahilum, Dan Acosta, Kambal Gimpaya, Cenon Garcia, and Joseph Cruzat.
VCM problems normal
Paper jams, failure to print election receipts, overheating machines, and poor signal for transmission all occurred in several polling precincts, but the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) dismissed them as normal.
“Normal na rin siya kasi halos every national and local elections nagkakaroon ng ganyan. Medyo mahirap sa iba na first time naka-experience ng ganito na inabot na ng two days pero so far okay naman,” acting municipal election officer Liezl Hablado said.
Unlike other towns that announced winners sooner, Narra had to wait almost two days to send and upload election results because the signal was weak and the VCM was broken.
The problem with the signal experienced is contrary to what the COMELEC expected in Narra’s transmission of election returns after the closing of voting. The electoral boards from some precincts had to bring the VCM to the consolidation and canvassing system operator (CCSO) to upload the election returns to the server.
“Doon, medyo in-anticipate natin na okay kasi okay naman ang signal ng Narra. Ang ibang SIM na dapat ang malakas ay Globe, ang naipadala ay Smart tapos ang sa Smart, ang naipadala ay Globe. Hindi ko masabi (kung kaninong fault) kasi before naman nagpadala-padala, nagkaroon naman ng survey kung saan ang malakas. Hindi ko masabi kung sino,” Hablado said.
The proclamation was pushed at 11:00 pm on Tuesday after the last precinct of Aramaywan Elementary School, which had to take almost 11 hours to feed the over 600 official ballots to the VCM. The delay was due to the defective VCM, where the SD card and the B-slot cards had to be reconfigured.
Hablado said that the incident didn’t change the validity of the votes from the last precinct because people in the MBOC office saw the ballots being fed in.
“Hindi naman kasi kita niyo naman lahat, wala naman ginalaw, inulit naman natin lahat. Zero naman nakita doon pa lang sa initialization,” she said.