Death Toll Mounts, Aquino Candidates Lead In Several Key Races
MANILA, Philippines (AP) _ Candidates backed by President Corazon Aquino in violence-plagued regional elections led today in two-thirds of the races for governor, but were less successful in Manila area mayoral contests, partial results indicated.
The military said 103 people were killed in violence related to Monday’s elections, including 39 candidates.
Roy Padilla, running for governor in Luzon’s Camarines Norte province, was shot to death hours before the polls opened and his son, Roy Jr., stepped in as a last-minute substitute.
Young Padilla was one of 20-backed candidates for governor ahead in the 33 provinces for which returns were available.
Unofficial returns, compiled by the government news agenbcy and private news media, showed Mrs. Aquino’s ″People Power″ coalition candidates also leading in 16 races for vice governor.
Result were unavailable from 29 other provinces where voint took place.
In 11 provinces, voting was put off because of fears of violence and rescheduled for later this month and February.
Candidates of the New Society Movement of ousted President Ferdinand Marcos trailed everywhere but in Marcos’native province, Ilocos Norte. There, former Col. Rolando Abadilla, on trial for his role in a coup attempt last year, was leading for vice government.
The apparent winner there in the contest for governor was Rodolfo Farinas, a Marcos supporter who broke away from the New Society Movement.
Former Col. Rodolfo Aguinaldo, implicated but not charged in the Aug. 28 coup attempt led by Col. Gregorio Honasan, held a 3-to-1 lead in the race for governor of Cagayan province in northern Luzon, the government-run Philippines News Agency said.
The Liberal Party of Senate President Jovito Salonga, who remains pro- Aquino but is critical of her relatives, led in races for six gubernatorial and two vice gubernatorial posts.
Vice President Salvador Laurel’s United Nationalist Democratic Organization, or UNIDO, was ahead in only one race for governor, in Agusan Del Sur province. Political observers have said a poor showing by UNIDO would be a blow to Laurel’s presidential ambitions.
In the capital area, where 17 mayoral posts were at stake, candidates personally endorsed by the president trailed in seven races after earlier appearing headed for victory in 14 contests.
Non-administration candidates conceded defeat in mayoral races in Manila and its premier financial suburb, Makati.
In the race for mayor of Quezon City, Mrs. Aquino’s sister-in-law, Mila Aquino-Albert, trailed two other candidates. Her cousin Vic Sumulong, was far behind in the contest for governor of Rizal province.
Political observers said this indicated a backlash following charges that Mrs. Aquino’s family was building a″political dynasty″ reminiscent of Marcos.
The Philippine Constabulary released new figures today showing that at least 103 people were killed in election-related violence since campaigning began Dec. 1.
It did not give a full breakdown, but said the toll included six civilians and at least nine soldiers killed by communist rebels Monday in an ambush in the northern Philippines while performing ″election duties″.
Police said a campaign worker was killed Monday in Bacolod City, 300 miles southeast of Manila, when he tried to prevent armed men from stealing ballot boxes. It was the only clearly election-related killing on election day.
Despite the violence, the government hailed the election as one of the most peaceful in years. More reports surfaced of scattered incidents, however, some after polls closed.
The military said communist rebels snatched about 4,000 ballots from poll clerks and burned some of them north of Manila. Counting was also disrupted in four districts of Quezon City and other placed, the Philippine News Agency reported.
In General Santos City on the island of Mindanao, vote counting was stopped Monday when Cristito Limbagon, the local poll chairman, disappeared, the government’s television station reported today. It said he was feared kidnapped.
On the central island of Cebu, a civic group conducting an unofficial count there said it was not including results from Danao city because armed men roamed the streets and its messengers were afraid to enter the locality.