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Giant slayer! Doc Jun Gato defeats Butch Abad in Batanes congressional race

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A medical doctor has achieved what many Ivatans think was impossible in Batanes after he defeated Former Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad in the province’s congressional race during Monday’s midterm elections.

Results from the Commission on Elections’ (COMELEC) transparency server, Abad fell short in his bid to reclaim his old congressional seat in Batanes after being defeated by Ciriaco “Jun” Gato Jr. of the Nationalist People’s Coalition.

Gato had 3,367 votes as of 5:01 p.m. of May 14, compare to Abad’s 3,129 based on the data from all the 33 clustered precincts in the province.

The victory of Gato against Abad can be likened to a “David vs Goliath” scenario considering the newcomer’s inability to match the political machinery of the Liberal Party (LP) stalwart.

According to former provincial Board Member Ramonito Imperial, Gato was a successful Ivatan medical doctor who never forget his roots.

Imperial said Gato, known in Batanes as Doc Jun, regularly visits the province at least three-times a year to conduct medical mission to its less fortunate citizens.

“Umuuwi siya dito at least three-times a year to conduct free medical consultation for the less of fortunate people in the province,” said Imperial in a phone interview.

The former official further stressed that the victory of Gato really brought hope to the Ivatans since “change has finally come in Batanes.”

“We really hope na simula na ito ng pagbabago sa buong lalawigan. Dekada rin ang inintay namin para dito,” Imperial added.

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