MANILA, Philippines - After all-night canvassing, Emmanuel "Manny" Maliksi was declared the winner of the mayoral race in Imus, Cavite.
Maliksi received 52,137 votes, only 2,500 more than his rival Homer Saquilayan who got 49,562 votes.
His running mate Armando Ilano won as vice-mayor with 59,226 votes versus rival Patrizenette Villena with 36,760 votes.
Alvin Advincula, Maliksi's ally, won the congressional seat for the lone district of Imus by a landslide with 63,123 votes.
Cavite residents have been keeping a close eye on the mayoral race in Imus since Maliksi and Saquilayan are known to be fierce rivals.
They ran against each other for mayor in the 2010 elections. In 2010, the municipal board of canvassers declared Saquilayan as the winner, but then-incumbent mayor Maliksi questioned the decision in court.
In November 2011, the Imus regional trial court ruled that Maliksi was the winner, but this was overturned by the Commission on Elections, which reinstated Saquilayan. Maliksi managed to win a TRO with the Supreme Court, but in March, the TRO was lifted and Saquilayan was declared the winner again. But Maliski filed a motion for reconsideration and won, allowing him to stay in his post as mayor.
With his new win, Maliksi said he hoped this would put to rest any doubts about who is the real mayor of Imus. Even though the vote difference was only 2,500 votes, Maliksi said this will be enough to show that he was really elected by Imus residents. - Report from Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News