MANILA, Philippines – Kalayaan City Mayor Roberto del Mundo has won his candidacy for re-election as the first local general manager of the most remote municipality of Palawan in the Spratley Archipelago with flying colors.
Del Mundo, a retired air force member, garnered 147 votes to foil the mayoral bid for retired naval officer Rodrigo Jaca, who won 86 votes.
During their active service, Jaca and Del Mundo were previously deployed to the island of Pag-asa, then a key garrison of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in the Spratleys.
For the run for the vice-presidency, Jaca’s teammate Vicencio Milan also lost to Del Mundo’s partner Hermoso Ornopia.
Milan garnered 67 votes while Ornopia garnered 164 votes in what appeared to be a political contest marred by allegations of vote-buying, even in this remote part of the Philippines.
“From what we are hearing now, registered voters who no longer reside on the island were paid 10,000 pesos each by their bosses to travel, all expenses paid, to the island town to vote,” he said. declared an official.
The official added that the elections were over within hours with the proclamation of the winners.
Pag-asa Island, now the seat of the city of Kalayaan, is home to more than 300 civilian residents, including children.
A recent vote showed 236 “Islanders,” including returning registered voters recruited by their political sponsors to increase their chances of winning.