By: Gail Momblan
ILOILO CITY — Incumbent Iloilo 3rd District Rep. Arthur “Toto” Defensor Jr. was proclaimed Iloilo governor on Thursday afternoon.
Defensor Jr., of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), garnered total votes of 479,081 from the 42 municipalities and one component city of the Iloilo province.
He will be replacing his father, incumbent Iloilo governor Arthur Defensor, Sr. in the gubernatorial seat.
His opponent Ferjenel Biron of the Nacionalista Party, on the other hand, got 391,403 votes.
“We will give back to the trust and confidence of the people with transparent and honest governance,” Defensor said shortly after his proclamation at the Iloilo Provincial Capitol’s Sanguniang Panlalawigan Session Hall.
During his stint as congressman, Defensor said he welcomed and the allotted time to cater to the needs of the locals who personally sought his service.
“It was a big thing that the people in the 3rd District and the people of the province of Iloilo know how I worked with the matters that pass my office,” he said.
The public “understands” how he works and therefore invested their trust in him, he added.
Meanwhile, winning the vice gubernatorial seat is Christine Garin of the Nacionalista Party with 443,226 votes. She won against incumbent Barotac Viejo Mayor Niel Tupas III of the PDP-Laban, who only got 397,539 votes.
Lawyer Roberto Salazar, Commission on Elections (Comelec)-Iloilo supervisor said the delay on the proclamation of the winners was caused by “technical glitches.”
Salazar, however, said the proclamation made this year was one day earlier than that of 2016.
“We admit that there we encountered defective SD cards and we worked hard to address those and to complete the results and proclaim the winning candidates,” Salazar said. (PNA)