DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Ibuyan, Apostol, Ungab, and Abella are familiar names in Davao City local politics yet the first three lost their reelection bids as barangay captains, while Abella failed his comeback for barangay captain, in Monday’s Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections. Yet, another Duterte made it into local politics.
Edgar Ibuyan, long-time chair of Barangay 5-A (population 11,160, 2020 census), where Bankerohan Public Market is located, lost to former Kagawad (village councilor) Gigi Mata. Ibuyan had served Brgy. 5-A for over 20 years and made this position a springboard to be elected as city councilor in 2007. His son Edgar Jr. ran in his stead in the city council in 2016 as the senior ran as barangay chair in 2017 and won. Ibuyan Sr. made it back to the city council as a representative of the Association of Barangay Chairpersons (ABC) in 2018. Ibuyan has been linked to President Rodrigo Duterte since the latter’s mayoral term and is a long-time member of the Duterte party Hugpong sa Tawong Lungsod.
Yet, Ibuyan lost this to Mata, who carried the slogans “pagMata na” (Wake up), a play on his name, and “Serbisyo, Dili Negosyo” (Service, not Business).
Doce Apostol is the brother of Councilor Dante Apostol, who also served as a captain in Panacan (pop’n 40,860) before being elected as councilor since 2007. The Apostols have held on to barangay posts in Panacan for over two decades. But Doce was defeated by Dr. Ericson Batican, a psychologist and incumbent kagawad. Batican’s campaign was boosted by social media vlogger Jam Magno, who joined the doctor’s sorties and used her platform to criticize his opponents who allegedly removed his posters.
Based on the unofficial final tally, Batican gathered 5,093 votes to Apostol’s 3,743 votes on Monday’s elections.
Ursie Ungab is the brother of Davao City’s third district representative Isidro Ungab, another Hugpong stalwart. Ungab lost his reelection bid in Barangay Calinan (population 24,218) to Culaste Angco, an incumbent kagawad, with a vote of 3,671 to 6,286 based on an unofficial tally.
Ralph Abella had served as barangay captain in Vicente Hizon, Buhangin District and also as city councilor. He is married to Marissa Salvador Abella, a daughter of the late councilor Pedring Salvador, who also started her political career as barangay chair in Hizon in 2006 before serving as councilor from 2010 to 2019, and again starting 2022. Abella reported that he received a death threat on election day when a package was said to arrive at his house in Nova Tierra with flowers and a note to his wife warning Ralph to stop pursuing a legal case. Abella lost to the incumbent barangay chair Erico Talili.
While familiar names lost in this barangay elections, the Duterte name continues to rule. Omar Duterte, 29 years old, son of first district representative Paulo Duterte from his former wife Lovelie Sangkola and grandson of former president Rodrigo Duterte, ran unopposed in Barangay Buhangin and won. COMELEC rules said “a simple plurality of votes or at least one vote” is needed for a lone candidate to win.
Buhangin’s former barangay captain Francisco Gamad settled to run as kagawad and won.
Duterte carried the campaign line “continuing the legacy” and the former President’s trademark phrase, “kami ang inyong sulugoon (We are your servant)”.
Buhangin is Davao City’s most populous barangay with 67,515 residents.
Voters in Buhangin had mixed reactions to not having a choice for the position of barangay chair.
“It would also be fine if somebody will face Omar Duterte. Maybe (it’s) because they fear facing a Duterte, they did not run for the position,” said Marlon Aguirre Sungahid, a resident of Buhangin.
Mary Ann Acaso, also from Buhangin, said that people see no problem in voting for a lone Duterte, as they are familiar with the name.
Omar is the fourth Duterte in local politics. His father Paulo is the first district representative while Paulo’s wife January is reelected as barangay chair in Catalunan Grande. Uncle Sebastian is serving as the city’s mayor.
Aside from Buhangin, there are 26 other barangays where incumbent chairpersons ran unopposed: 2A, 10A, 18B, 23C, 24C, 34D, 36D, 39D, Matina Aplaya and Catalunan Grande for Congressional District 1; Buhangin, Tomas Monteverde, Indangan, Mahayag, Paradise Embac and Colosas for District 2; Biao Joaquin, Dacudao, Inayangan, Lamanan, Lampianao, Megkawayan, Tamayong, Toril, Mintal, Tacunan and Malamba in District 3.
A total of 471 candidates filed their COCs for barangay chairperson and a total of 8,030 candidates filed for Davao City’s 182 barangays, based on Comelec records. (davaotoday.com)davao city, duterte, Elections