The Philippines has seen local sports figures run for office over the years and this year’s elections was no exception

By Nicole Ganglani | Lead photo from Inquirer Sports

According to the Philippine Commission on Elections’s (COMELEC) list of candidates, there were more than 25 sports personalities who ran for various positions at the 2019 midterm elections, most of whom engage in the country’s most popular sport, basketball. While some managed to score their way into their respective government offices, some weren’t as lucky.

Here’s a rundown of how this year’s athletics candidates fared in the midterm elections:

  1. Francis Zamora 

The former La Salle Green Archer dethroned the Ejercito-Estrada dynasty in San Juan after garnering more votes (35,060) than Erap’s granddaughter Janella Ejercito (24,813).

  1. Vergel Meneses

After three failed attempts of getting into politics, retired PBA legend Vergel Meneses is finally a mayor this year. The former PBA MVP defeated his relative Piccolo Meneses (23,469 to 16,476 votes) to become the new mayor of Bulakan town in Bulacan.

  1. Richard Gomez

2005 Southeast Asian Games fencing gold medalist Richard Gomez ran unopposed and will serve as mayor for Ormoc City for another term.

  1. Matthew Manotoc

PBA sports agent Matthew Manotoc also ran unopposed and will serve as the new governor of Ilocos Norte.

Other sports figures won councilor posts:

Retired PBA players Dondon Hontiveros (Cebu City, second district), Yoyong Martirez (Pasig, second district), Paul Artadi (San Juan, first district), Jam Alfad (Jolo, Sulu), ex-PBA coach Binky Favis (Parañaque, second district), Perpetual Altas player GJ Ylagan (Gumaca, Quezon), Adamson coach Franz Pumaren (Quezon City, third district), Adamson Soaring Falcons deputy Jack Santiago (Navotas first district), MPBL coach Elvis Tolentino (Marikina, second district), racer Tyson Sy (Valenzuela, second district), and UAAP executive director Rebo Saguisag (Makati, first district).

  1. Yeng Guiao

The Gilas Pilipinas head coach and NLEX mentor had failed to claim a seat in the House of Representatives after losing to Jon Lazatin (143,234 to 99,931 votes)

  1. Monsour del Rosario

Philippine Taekwondo Secretary General Monsour del Rosario lost the vice mayoralty race to Monique Lagdameo in Makati City who garnered a total of 182,655 votes vs de Rosario’s 105,153 votes.

  1. Ali Atienza

1994 Asian Taekwondo Championship gold medalist Ali Atienza failed to secure the congressional race in Manila’s fifth district after losing to Amanda Bagtasing.

Meanwhile Don Allado, Ish Polvorosa, and referee Nestor Sambrano all lost in their election bids. Whether the fact that sports personalities transitions into politics is a good thing or not, let’s hope they use their skills outside the court and do their duties for the betterment of the country.

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