Coin toss allows comeback for ex-Palawan town mayor

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 17) — A coin toss determined the new mayor of Araceli in Palawan province.

The municipal board of canvassers proclaimed former mayor Sue Cudilla as the winner of the mayoralty race on Friday afternoon. Cudilla beat incumbent Mayor Noel Beronio to secure a three-year term through a coin flip.

Tails proved to be the winning bet as Cudilla swept the best-of-three toss using a ₱1 coin.

Cudilla and Beronio garnered 3,495 votes each out of 7,238 ballots cast during the May 13 polls, thus the need for a tie-breaker.

Beronio's older brother Lucibar III showed up to do the coin toss on his behalf. He had to take an oath before he could take part in the all-important match.

In the case of a tie, the Omnibus Election Code specifically allows local election officers to resort to "drawing of lots" to determine the winner, and shall proclaim the candidates "who may be favored by luck."

This is not the first time in election history that a toss coin happened to determine the winner. In 2016, Mayor Joni Villanueva was named mayor of Bocaue, Bulacan after a best-of-five coin flip battle.

The rules allow the filing of a protest after the winner is proclaimed as mayor-elect.

Araceli is an island municipality northeast of mainland Palawan with 14,909 residents as of 2015.

Journalist Catherine Santos contributed to this report.