Two days after the polls closed, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) proclaimed incumbent ruling party bet Zaldy Ampatuan as winner of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) poll for governor.
Ampatuan won by a landslide, getting 1,017,179 votes or about 80 percent of the votes cast.
At 84 percent voter turn out, about 1.2 million of ARMM’s 1.5 million total registered voters cast their votes on August 11.
"It is the highest number of votes legally cast for said office," said Comelec’s ARMM regional director and regional board of canvassers chair Teopisto Elnas Jr.
It was the quickest election process, too. In previous elections, it took weeks before the winners were proclaimed, said Comelec spokesman James Jimenez.
Alvarez Isnaji, the incumbent mayor of the town of Indanan, Sulu came in a far second. He got less than 5 percent of total votes, based on incomplete results.
Ampatuan's running mate, incumbent Vice-Governor Ansaruddin Adiong, has not been proclaimed. But initial elections results show he will also win by a landslide. Incomplete results as of 4 p.m. show that he had 91 percent of the votes.
Complete results for the other candidates were not yet available as of posting time.
"The automated elections are a success. Despite some untoward incidents arising primarily from ballot snatchings in some isolated areas, the results remain," Comelec Chairman Jose Melo told reporters shortly before the 5 p.m. proclamation.
Melo took pride in the breakthrough made by the Comelec with the automated ARMM elections. Direct Recording Equipment (DRE) technology was used in Maguindanao while Optical Mark Reader (OMR) was used in the rest of the five provinces—Shariff Kabunsuan, Lanao Del Sur, Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi.
With DRE, the entire elections process was automated from voting, transmission, counting, and canvassing. With OMR, only the counting and canvassing was automated.
"We have set a few firsts in the recent elections," Melo said, enumerating the following:
· the first fraud-free election in more than half a century;
· the first time the winning candidates were proclaimed in less than two days after election day;
· the first use of electronic voting and transmission of machines in a Philippine electoral exercise;
· the first time the ballot printing process was broadcast live over the Internet;
· the first election with practically no report of voter disenfranchisement;
· the first election where the rate of 'failure of elections' in an area is less than 1 percent.
"The Comelec is slowly but surely shedding off its old image. Not only have they (ARMM voters) provided us with the necessary knowledge that will guide us when we fully automate the 2010 National and Local Elections; more importantly, they have shown the rest of the country that, despite the disruptions and difficulties brought about by armed conflicts, honest, credible, and efficient elections are very much possible."
Here is the list of winning assemblymen. As of posting time, the Comelec main office in Manila has not released or announced the winners in the two districts in Lanao del Sur. It was the last to transmit its results.
1. Datumanong, Umbrah (Independent)
2. Mangudadatu, Khadafeh (Lakas-CMD)
3. Mentang, Pike (Lakas-CMD)
1. Sinsuat, Ronnie Quesada (Lakas-CMD)
2. Ibay, Cahar Pendat (Kampi)
3. Tomawis, Abdulradzak Dagalangin (Kampi)
1. Sahali, Rejie Maquiso (Lakas-CMD)
2. Omas, Mustapha Joe (Independent)
3. Ahaja, Nur Mahadil Kingking (Independent)
1. Akbar, Rajam (Independent)
2. Asarul, Nasser (Independent)
3. Hataman, Juhan (Nacionalista Party)
Sulu, First District
1. Tulawe, Nivocadnezer (Lakas-CMD)
2. Tingkahan, Rizal Jr. (Lakas-CMD)
3. Maldisa, Nahil (Lakas-CMD)
Sulu, Second District
1. Daud, Nashruper (Lakas-CMD)
2. Estino, Benshar (Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino)
3. Anni, Abdel (Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino)
Lanao Del Sur, First District
1. Adiong, Jeha
2. Salic, Samer
3. Salic, Suhaylah
Lanao Del Sur, Second District
1. Salic, Rasmia
2. Balindong, Yasser
3. Menor, Alexander
List of Winning Assemblymen
Melo: ‘Successful Elections’