Cebu - The Provincial Office of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said it could already be proclaiming winners in the province of Cebu after replacement compact flash cards arrived yesterday morning, ending the two-day delay in the canvassing of votes for provincial candidates here.
Comelec Cebu Supervisor and Board of Canvassers Chairman Eddie Aba expressed confidence that the Comelec will be able to proclaim winners in the gubernatorial, vice gubernatorial, and board members as the nine PCOS machines that were found defective were replaced yesterday morning.
"This is actually a national problem and not just our problem here in Cebu but the replacements have arrived and the canvassing can now go on," Aba said, following two days of delay in proclaiming the winners.
As of 12:30 p.m. yesterday, Liberal Party (LP) gubernatorial candidate Hilario Davide III was leading the gubernatorial race with 565,373 votes over his opponent, Pablo John Garcia of One Cebu UNA who was trailing behind with 413,254 votes.
Davide's running mate, Agnes Magpale, was also leading the race with 469,785 votes. Magpale's closest opponent, Glenn Soco, had 327,734 votes.
The situation, said Aba, means a new Cebu governor could already be proclaimed although as of press time, canvassing of votes was still going on.
Interviewed by reporters, Davide said his wide margin and pending proclamation as new governor of Cebu only showed that the Cebuanos "have grown tired of the Garcias."
Of four Garcias running for elective posts under the opposition One Cebu Party allied with Vice President Jejomar Binay's United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), one has already lost to a rival belonging to the administration's Liberal Party (LP), Vice Mayor Marlon Garcia, who was running for mayor.
As of latest count, his father, Rep. Pablo Garcia, who is running for reelection, was 7,045 votes behind Provincial Board Member Wilfredo Caminero.
However, suspended governor Gwen Garcia was poised to win as representative of Cebu's third district with 89,749 votes
Last Tuesday afternoon, the Cebu City Comelec already proclaimed re-electionist Mayor Michael Rama as the winner in the mayoralty race with 217,448 votes. His rival, Rep. Tomas Osmeña, gathered 211,072 votes.
Rama's running mate, Edgar Labella, was also proclaimed vice mayor with 202,255 votes against his opponent's 201,884.