Team PNoy to clinch Cebuano vote, says senator-A A +A
Friday, March 15, 2013
MANILA -- Senatorial candidates under the administration-backed Team PNoy will surely win in Cebu based on its voting record in the past elections, a Cebuano lawmaker who helped in the presidential run of then Senator Benigno Aquino III in 2010 said Thursday.
"Cebu is Aquino country. Cebu is Cory Aquino country. That's why we were confident that (Team) PNoy will win by a landslide there in 2010 even if he did not campaign there," Senator Sergio Osmeña III told reporters.
Cebuano leaders, particularly Governor Gwendolyn Garcia and her allies, backed the candidacy of then Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro yet he lost heavily to Aquino, who gathered nearly one million votes.
Aquino's running-mate then Senator Manuel Roxas II had 814,000 votes.
This year, both Team PNoy and the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) courted Cebu in the early days of the 90-day campaign period, which started last February 12. UNA even defied tradition of holding proclamation rallies in Manila when it formally introduced its senatorial line up at the packed Plaza Independencia in Cebu City.
Cebu has 2.5 million voters, which is the biggest among provinces in the Philippines.
Overall, Osmeña said Team PNoy will likely get more seats in the so-called Magic 12 come Election Day, May 13.
"It looks that way. Like I said the surveys taken yesterday is not a definite indicator of what will happen in May but it gives you a trend and this time we are already seeing a trend," he said, referring to results released by independent pollsters Pulse Asia and Social Weather Stations (SWS) where eight or nine Team PNoy bets have joined the winners’ circle.
Based on surveys, UNA's strong candidates so far are Nancy Binay, San Juan Representative JV Ejercito, Cagayan Representative Jack Enrile, and Senator Gregorio Honasan II.
But rankings can still change, Osmeña said, since there might be issues that can affect the entire slate.
"For example, the Sabah issue, if it's mishandles or if it turns out badly, it might affect the entire complexion of the campaign. No one can say with any degree of confidence that 8-4 or 9-3 will be the result of the election," he said.
Aquino has been criticized for not taking necessary steps to end the armed crisis in Sabah, a resource-rich territory in Malaysia that is being claimed by the Sultanate of Sulu.
The encounters and succeeding crackdowns on the sultanate's followers have reportedly killed some 60 people, most of them Filipinos. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)