Two More Defeated Mayoralty Bets in Negros Occ. File Poll Protests


Two more defeated candidates for municipal mayor in Negros Occidental filed election protests which are now pending before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of La Carlota City.

Aside from outgoing mayor Joselito Malabor of Isabela, former vice mayor Felix “Chad” Feria IV of La Castellana, and outgoing Mayor Magdaleno Peña of Moises Padilla, also filed protests and want a recount.

The three municipalities are all situated in the 5th district of Negros Occ.

Malabor’s petition was assigned to RTC Branch 74 under Judge Mila Yap-Camiso while Feria’s case was raffled to RTC Branch 63 presided by Judge Cyclamen Jison-Fernandez.

Malabor, in his petition filed on May 23, sought a recount against winning candidate Irene Montilla for the results in 37 of the 54 clustered precincts.

Malabor lost by a mere 48 votes after obtaining 13,844 votes, compared with Montilla’s 13,892.

Last Thursday, Feria, filed a similar protest against reelected mayor Rhumyla Nicor-Mangilimutan.

Feria petitioned for a recount in all 57 clustered precincts of the town. He obtained 13,987 votes compared with Nicor-Mangilimutan’s 17,822.

In Moises Padilla, Peña filed a petition on Friday to protest the election of incumbent Vice Mayor Ella Celestina Garcia-Yulo, who won by a margin of 7,563 in her comeback bid for the town’s top post.

Garcia-Yulo was Peña’s running mate in 2016. In the 2019 mayoral race, she obtained 13,056 votes and was proclaimed early morning the day after the elections. Peña got 5,493 votes.

The outgoing mayor sought a recount in 40 clustered precincts, claiming “illegal vote totals that are not reflective of the true results of voting and counting in the protested precincts”.

Moises Padilla remains under the control of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) after it was placed in the close supervision of the poll body on May 6. President Rodrigo Duterte visited Moises Padilla on May 8 to preside a command conference with military and police officials in Western Visayas.

The central Negros town was put under the Comelec control after Garcia-Yulo’s nephew, re-electionist Jose Antonio “Michael” Garcia, and brother, Jose Marcelino “Marc” Garcia, were killed on the campaign trail on April 25.


Reelected La Castellana Mayor Rhumyla Nicor- Mangilimutan meanwhile said it is the right of defeated mayoralty candidate Felix “Chad” Feria IV to file a protest and call for a recount.

Mangilimutan confirmed that she received the court information on Feria’s protest which is seeking for a recount claiming the election was allegedly marred with fraud, terrorism, and illegal acts.

Mangilimutan denied such allegations saying the election went smoothly.* (Nanette Guadalquiver w/report from Arman Toga)

Reelected La Castellana Mayor Mhai-Mhai Nicor-Mangilimutan, left, and incoming Moises Padilla Mayor, Vice Mayor Ella Garcia-Yulo.* (NDB, Arman Toga photo)

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