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Priest topples Arroyo allies Pineda, Lapid in Pampanga polls

May 18, 2007 6:57pm

Tags: Pampanga
Father Eddie Panlilio on Friday early evening topped the gubernatorial elections in Pampanga, home province of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, with the Catholic priest narrowly beating local political heavyweights and close allies of the Chief Executive.

He was proclaimed winner of Pampanga's gubernatorial race past 7 p.m.

GMA News' 24 Oras said that the Commission on Elections' final tally showed Panlilio had a lead of merely 1,147 votes over provincial board member Lilia Pineda.

The prelate got 219,706 votes against Pineda's 218,559 votes.

Reelectionist Gov. Mark Lapid took third place with 210,875 votes.

Lapid is affiliated with the ruling Lakas party, while Pineda is a member of the Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (Kampi) which President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo founded.

President Arroyo refused to name her pick for the province's elective officials when she cast her vote on Election Day. Pampanga has over a million registered voters.

Panlilio earlier bared his plans to channel the P400-million take of the provincial government from quarrying operations to basic services like health and education.

The Lapids are accused of unlawfully pocketting millions in kickbacks from quarrying operations in the province. The Pinedas of Pampanga, meanwhile, have been closely associated with the jueteng illegal numbers game.

Lilia earlier claimed that majority of mayors in Pampanga have pledged their allegiance to Kampi.

When the campaign period was winding up, Mark refused to respond to questions about his alleged marriage to Korean Yuri Park and their supposed daughter. - GMANews.TV
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Tags: Pampanga