Gwen Garcia out as UNA senatorial candidate-A A +A
Thursday, September 20, 2012
MANILA (Updated, 1:50 p.m.) -- Vice President Jejomar Binay confirmed on Thursday that Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia is no longer part of the senatorial line-up of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) for next year's midterm elections.
Speaking to media after a groundbreaking of a housing program in Argao, Cebu, Binay said Garcia will likely run for Congress since her brother Pablo John of the third legislative district will seek the gubernatorial post.
Garcia is on her third and last term as governor, making her ineligible to run for re-election in May 2013.
Binay said he met with Garcia a few days ago where he was informed of the governor's decision not to take part in the national political scene and instead focus on campaigning for UNA candidates in the vote-rich province.
Garcia has yet to issue a statement regarding the development.
"In fairness to Governor Garcia, it was a very logical move since her presence is really needed here during the campaign. Her brother will run for governor and she can be a member of Congress. Isn't that logical?" the Vice President said.
He also dismissed speculations that Garcia abandoned her senatorial plans because of poor showing in non-commissioned surveys and her involvement in a malversation case in connection with the purchase of land for a housing site.
"She won't be a senatorial candidate anymore not because of the survey. They (Garcia family) need to be here (Cebu)," Binay said.
On Monday, a survey by Pulse Asia showed Garcia trailing re-electionist senators and old hands in the race for the 12 spots. Garcia's awareness level is at 49 percent which earned her an 8.6 percent voter preference, putting her between 24th and 29th place.
With Garcia's exit, UNA candidates have been reduced to eight, namely: Senator Gregorio Honasan II, San Juan City Representative Joseph Victor Ejercito, former senators Juan Miguel Zubiri, Ernesto Maceda and Richard Gordon, Zambales Representative Mitos Magsaysay, Cagayan Representative Jack Enrile and Joey de Venecia.
Senators Loren Legarda and Francis Escudero, consistent frontrunners in surveys, are also being eyed by UNA for the line-up. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)