Winners, losers: Sportsmen encounter mixed fortunes in national elections

May 10, 2016
While boxing champ Manny Pacquiao is headed for the Senate and GlobalPort owner Mikee Romero gained a partylist seat in Congress, Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao, former La Salle player Francis Zamora and former PBA MVP Vergel Meneses weren't as lucky.

THE smoke of battle from the 2016 national elections is starting to clear.

Past elections have seen some well-known sports personalities try their luck in public service, and this year has been no different. With winners in some cities and provinces already proclaimed in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, lists down who among the candidates with ties to the world of sports are well on their way to a victory in the political arena and who didn't fare well.

Here are some of the most notable winners:

Manny Pacquiao – Currently running eighth in the senatorial race with 14,984,166 votes (as of 1 p.m., May 10, 2016), Pacquiao no doubt is one of the most prominent sports personalities holding public office. Though many questioned his habitual absence from the House of Representatives, some supporters believe that the eight-division world boxing champion’s hands-on approach in attending to the needs of his constituents in the lone district of Sarangani gave him the needed support in his Senate bid.

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Tito Sotto – The two-time bowling World Cup veteran is well on his way to his fourth term as Senator, currently placing third in the canvassing.

Joel Villanueva – Usually at the tailend of the Magic 12 in recent surveys, Villanueva, member of the back-to-back UAAP champions UST Tigers in the nineties, surprisingly surged to the Top 2 in the Senate race as per early election returns. He's currently trailing Franklin Drilon and a few thousand votes ahead of Sotto. Villanueva is the son of well-known religious leader and Jesus is Lord founder Brother Eddie Villanueva.

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Mikee Romero – Being the top nominee of partylist 1-Pacman, the businessman Romero has become the newest sportsman to gain a Congress seat. Romero vows to promote jobs and uplift the welfare of the poor Filipinos with a platform based on his micro-management approach of his businesses like the Harbour Centre and Sultan 900, Inc.

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Eric Pineda – A longtime member of Team Pacquiao, Pineda was the second nominee of partylist group 1-Pacman. And after breaching the 1.2 million votes mark, 1-Pacman will have three representatives in the lower house, with another Team Pacquiao member, Nick Enciso, joining both Romero in Pineda when the 17th Congress opens on July 1.

Richard Gomez – The actor and 2005 Southeast Asian Games fencing gold medalist finally made it to the city hall of Ormoc after a failed mayoralty bid in 2013. His wife Lucy was also re-elected as Leyte 4th district congresswoman.

Arnel Ty – Cycling enthusiast and owner of LPGMA/American Vinyl cycling team, Ty will be given a third straight term as congressman after his partylist group collected more than 400 thousand votes.

Dennis Pineda – Unopposed in his vice gubernatorial bid in Pampanga, where his governor mom Lilia also ran uncontested, Pineda is known to the basketball community as the developer of high-caliber PBA superstars like Calvin Abueva, Arwind Santos, Japeth Aguilar and Ian Sangalang. Pineda has been focusing his programs on sports development, proof of which is a long line of future Filipino basketball stars like 6-9 teenager Jay Pangalangan, La Salle big man Larry Muyang and NU Bullpups star center Justin Baltazar.

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Matthew Manotoc – The son of former Crispa Redmanizers coach Tommy Manotoc and former presidential daughter and now Ilocos Norte governor Imee Marcos got elected as board member of their province. Matthew Manotoc is a player agent in the PBA handling the careers of Japeth Aguilar, Chris Lutz and Marcio Lassiter among others.

Binky Favis - The former Philippine team deputy coach and Powerade mentor, emerged as the top councilor in the city of Paranaque, while taekwondo champion and official Monsour del Rosario did the same in the city of Makati.

Franz Pumaren - The newly named Adamson Falcons coach retained his council seat in the third district of Quezon City.

Other winners include former Abap president Manny Lopez (first congressional district, Manila), ex-Purefoods point guard Paul Artadi (first district councilor, San Juan), former racer Tyson Sy (councilor, Valenzuela), and former PBA star turned UV coach Boy Cabahug (councilor, Mandaue City).

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Meanwhile, among the losers are:

Yeng Guiao – It came as a shock to many PBA fans when news that the fiery Rain or Shine Elasto Painters coach lost his re-election bid as Pampanga first district congressman. But to residents of highly urbanized district, the loss was forthcoming for Guiao as he was challenged by Jon-Jon Lazatin, son of longtime Angeles City Mayor Carmelo 'Tarzan' Lazatin.

Francis Zamora – The former De La Salle Green Archers slotman challenged the incumbent San Juan mayor Guia Gomez, but lost by just 1,224 votes. Zamora had a battlecry of “change” for the city, which has long been under the power of former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada’s clan.

Mark Andaya – It was a no laughing matter for Andaya when he decided to surprise the sporting world with his decision to run for councilor in the fifth district of Manila. But like his bid to return to the PBA two years ago via the expansion team Kia, the former Letran Knights center failed to sway votes from his constituents.

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Vergel Meneses – The ‘Aerial Voyager’ crashed in his bid for the vice mayor's post of Bulakan, Bulacan. His cousin Patrick was re-elected mayor of the Bulacan town.

Harry Angping – It was a painful campaign for the former PSC chairman as he lost by just over 4,000 votes to actor and politician Yul Servo in the third congressional district of Manila, once a bailiwick of the outspoken sports official.

Monico Fuentevella - The former PSC commissioner lost to old rival Bing Leonardia in their battle for the mayorship of Bacolod City.

The other unsuccessful sportsmen from the elections are Ali Atienza (vice mayor, Manila), Mar Morelos (vice mayor, Valenzuela), cycling patron Bambi Villarosa (Mayor, Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro), and ex-PBA player Bonel Balingit (councilor, Cebu).

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While boxing champ Manny Pacquiao is headed for the Senate and GlobalPort owner Mikee Romero gained a partylist seat in Congress, Rain or Shine coach Yeng Guiao, former La Salle player Francis Zamora and former PBA MVP Vergel Meneses weren't as lucky.
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