Gubernatorial elections in Capiz (1907)

The Partido Modernista further entrenched and consolidated their power after the elections of the three Modernistas Deputies in the First Philippine Assembly elections held in July 1907. 

Eugenio Picazo, the second husband of Doña Rosario Acuña, defeated Simeon Dadivas of Partido Nacional Progresista in the First Legislative District, young Lawyer Jose Altavas upset Governor Simplicio Jugo Vidal in Second District while Braulio Manikan of Modernista was a runaway winner in the Third District. 

After Partido Modernista’s successive political success over the Partido Nacional Progresista and its political triumvirate led by former Governor S. Jugo Vidal, Ramon S. Hontiveros, and Simeon D. Dadivas, he was more determined to wrestle against the political dominance in the Province of Capiz in the upcoming November 1907 gubernatorial elections. La Democracia, the official organ of Partido Nacional Progresista, on October 10, 1907, reported the following local chapter election that was conducted:

“On the 5th of the current month, the Progresistas of Capiz met in the purple house of the Delegate of the Partido [Nacional] Progresista Mr. Simplico Jugo Vidal and after the speeches made by Messrs. Jugo, Dadivas and Borromeo, the elections of local Committee of the Cabecerra [Municipality of Capiz], resulted in the election of the following gentlemen: President, Mr. Cirilo Aldeguer, Members Mr. Gregorio Aguiling, Pedro Ardeña and Basilio Alovera, Secretary-Treasurer Rogelio Torres.”

The 5th day of the November 1907 election was a more intense Provincial election since for the first time the electorate will be voting the Third Member of the Provincial Board, which previously was an appointive position.

Incumbent Governor Antonio V. Habana, the standard bearer of Partido Modernista, a local political party, sought for reelection and his chosen candidate for Third Member was lawyer Rafael V. Acuña, from the wealthy Acuña clan. 

While the Partido Nacional Progresista decided to field in Ramon S. Hontiveros as Governor and lawyer Simeon Dadivas, as his running mate. 

The Modernistas won all municipalities except for the three Municipal Presidents who were from Partido Nacional Progresista. However, Hontiveros, the old revolutionary colonel and former Municipal President of Mambusao, accepted their defeat and filed an election protest on the grounds of irregularities.  

He alleged that elections were rigged since almost all electoral boards were made up of members or Inspectors affiliated to Partido Modernista, except those in the sub-province of Romblon. Hence, he asked the Court of First Instance to examine the 24 ballot boxes of the election precincts and the ballots be re-counted. 

The judge of the court ordered eight of these boxes to be opened and the votes re`counted but refused to order the remaining boxes opened on the ground that as to the remaining boxes Hontiveros had presented no evidence showing that any fraud had been committed in those precincts. Hence, on February 25, 1908, the Supreme Court dismissed the election protest of Hontiveros and upheld the elections of Habana by a majority of 250 votes.*