Pampanga local elections: Wacky world of politics

James Ryan Jonas

I rarely talk about politics in this blog but I can’t help but write one whenever I hear outrageous / weird / wacky news about politics and politicians.
Pampanga governor: Ed Panlilio, Lilia Pineda, Mark LapidJust a week ago, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) announced that in the recount of votes in the gubernatorial seat of Pampanga, losing candidate Lilia Pineda apparently won over proclaimed winner Ed Panlilio. The recount shows that Pineda received 190,729 votes while Panlilio got 188,718 votes.
What makes this more interesting, however, is that the number of votes of another losing candidate, third placer and then incumbent Mark Lapid, was 210,875 — which makes him the winner over the two!
Mark Lapid, based on the number of votes, was the real winner! Surprise!
According to the Comelec, Lapid — son of Lito Lapid, action star and senator (yes, he is Senator of the Republic of the Philippines!) — was not a party to the recount which means the number of votes he got was not changed.
And yet, according to the Comelec, he cannot assume the position because he did not file a petition for recount.
Ok, so let’s recap.
Comelec recounted the votes and discovered that Panlilio lost to Pineda. How that happened and whether Panlilio cheated his way to the governorship is a mystery.
The recount also shows that the individual number of votes gotten by Pineda and Panlilio were even lower than the votes received by Mark Lapid, the third placer.  Merely judging by the number of votes received, Mark Lapid should have won the race. But he is out of the picture because he is not part of the recount case.
Wow. Amazing turn of events. Only in the Philippines? Yes, only in the wacky world of politics in the Philippines.

James Ryan Jonas teaches business management, investments, and entrepreneurship at the University of the Philippines (UP). He is also the Executive Director of UP Provident Fund Inc., managing and investing P3.2 Billion ($56.4 Million) worth of retirement funds on behalf of thousands of UP employees.