ORMOC CITY, Leyte – After 15 years of trying, actor Richard Gomez finally got his wish to become an elected official when he was proclaimed winner in the mayoral race in this city.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) made the proclamation at 3:30 a.m. on May 10 in the presence of the Board of Canvassers.
Based on the election results, Gomez garnered 53,234 votes representing 54.2 percent of the entire votes cast. This is enough to dislodge re-electionist Mayor Edward C. Codilla who got 44,453 votes. His wife, Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez also won another term against Engr. Violy Codilla, the mayor’s wife.
Gomez’s running-mate Leo Carmelo L. Locsin Jr. was also re-elected with 53,098 votes over challenger Councilor Pedro Godiardo Ebcas who garnered 38,103 votes. Completing their victory is the majority win of their National People’s Coalition slate.
They consist of re-electionists Rolando Villasencio, Vincent Rama, Mario Rodriguez, Tomas Serafica, Benjamin Pongos and Gerardo Penserga, and first-timers Gregorio Yrastorza and Nolito Quilang. Only two candidates from Codilla’s Liberal Party made it namely re-electionist Jay-R Aparis and comeback councilor Lea Doris Capuyan-Villar.
This is the first time for 50-year-old Gomez to land an elected position after 15 years of trying. He first ran under the party list group Mamamayan Ayaw sa Droga in 2001 but was disqualified. He then ran for a senatorial post in 2007 as an independent candidate but lost.
He debuted in Ormoc politics in 2010 by running for congressman but was disqualified due to a residency issue. His wife Lucy substituted for him and eventually won. He ran for Ormoc mayor in 2013 but lost to Codilla by a margin of about 3,000 votes.