Bulacan's dela Cruz loses gubernatorial bid

By Jesus F. Llanto, abs-cbnNews.com/Newsbreak

Posted at May 15 2010 10:53 AM | Updated as of May 16 2010 11:42 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Former Bulacan governor Josefina dela Cruz failed to reclaim her old post after losing the gubernatorial race to incumbent vice governor Wilhelmino Sy-Alvarado.

Sy-Alavarado of Lakas-Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-Kampi CMD) was proclaimed on Wednesday by local poll officials. He led Dela Cruz by about 41,000 votes.

Sy-Alavardo got 533,527 votes or 51.21% of the total number of votes. Dela Cruz received 492, 468 votes.

This is the first time Dela Cruz lost an election, from the time she first ran as municipal councilor of Bocaue town, then as vice mayor, then provincial board member, vice governor, and then governor for 3 terms. In 2007, her popularity carried her younger brother, a barangay captain to victory in the gubernatorial post.

Dela Cruz's running mate, Pacifico Aniag, also lost to actor Daniel Fernando. Fernando enjoyed a 200,000 lead over Aniag.

Dela Cruz's brother, Joselito Mendoza, is expected to win the congressional race in Bulacan's 3rd district. Mendoza has a 25,000 lead over his closest rival Ricardo Silverio.

Dela Cruz, who was considered as protégé of former governor Roberto Pagdanganan, became the first female governor of the province in 1998. She was re-elected in 2001 and 2004. In her election as governor, Dela Cruz's margin never went below 80% of the turnout.

After serving 3 terms, Dela Cruz fielded his brother Mendoza in 2007 against Pagdanganan. Mendoza was declared winner but Pagdanganan was able to unseat him after winning an electoral protest shortly before the elections.

Dela Cruz was President Arroyo's ally until she refused to push for the controversial People's Initiative, which was meant to amend the Constitution. Dela Cruz and her brother later joined the Liberal Party.

The defeat of Dela Cruz further strengthened the grip of the Sy-Alvarado in the province. Wilhelmino's wife, Rep Ma. Victoria, won a second term after she defeated Pagdanganan in the congressional race for the 1st district. Ma. Victoria enjoyed a 60,000 lead over Pagdanganan. (abs-cbnNews.com/Newsbreak)