Local LP leaders skeptical over coalition, some say it may not be necessary-A A +A
Monday, July 16, 2012
WHILE an alliance with the Liberal Party and the Alayon Party might mean unity within the first congressional district, some officials think otherwise.
In an interview, San Fernando Mayor Antonio âAbeâ Canoy said that an alliance with LP and Alayon is not necessary, considering that LP Cebuâs head, Hilario âJunjunâ Davide III, claimed victory in the district when he ran for governor during the 2010 elections.
But despite his surprising victory in the district, Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia eventually claimed the overall win in 2010.
Canoy, who is LP Cebu First District chairman, added that unlike the Duranos of the fifth district, Alayon party head and Rep. Eduardo Gullas (Cebu, first district) doesnât have the capability to urge his mayors to vote straight for their candidates.
Canoy said Gullasâs motive to have his party merged with LP was to ensure that the candidacy of his grandson, Gerard Anthony âSamsamâ Gullas, will go unopposed. Samsam has already announced his plan to run for representative to succeed his grandfather.
Canoy earlier issued statements regarding his interest to run for first district representative, but he has yet to confirm his plan.
The San Fernando mayor revealed that during the visit of President Benigno âNoynoyâ Aquino III earlier this month to seal the deal with the LP and the Bakud Party of the fofth district, Gullas and his grandson had met with him and LP National chairman Mar Roxas at the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA).
After the meeting, Davide was reportedly ordered by Roxas to start negotiations with Gullas, Canoy revealed.
Talisay City opposition Councilor Romeo Villarante agrees with Canoy, but adds that the alliance with LP and Alayon may not be necessary for its local candidates, but can prove otherwise for the partyâs national candidates.
Villarante, who is one of the three city councilors in Talisay City that are under the LP, told Sun.Star Cebu that the alliance with LP and Alayon could bolster the LPâs senatorial candidates.
However, Villarante, a critic of the Gullases, maintained his stand that the LP shouldnât ally with Alayon as it would only affect their standing with the public.
Meanwhile, Bogo City Mayor Celestino âJunieâ Martinez Jr. said they will block the proposed coalition of the National Unity Party (NUP) with the Liberal Party because this is a kind of âlipat-lipatâ (trick) or an act to gain political advantage for the opposition.
Martinez said that upon instructions of President Aquino, they will conduct a full-swing campaign in the province for Davide for governor and Agnes Magpale for vice governor in the 2013 elections.
âWe were told by President Aquino that he will conduct a campaign sortie in Cebu during the election period to ensure the LP will become a dominant party here,â Martinez said.
Martinez said he told Aquino during their meeting in Danao City last July 7 not to be misled by NUP and Rep. Benhur Salimbangon (Cebu, 4th district) whom he described as a political opportunist.
âIf he (Salimbangon) expects that he has no strong opponent or no opponent at all in the next election, he should think twice because we in the LP, as well as the President, will put up the best candidate against him,â Martinez said.
According to Martinez, NUP is an opposition bloc masquerading as pro-administration so LP will not put up candidates against them.
âHow can they coalesce with LP when the administration party is all-out for Davide and Magpale, while NUP and Benhur are for Congressman Pablo John Garcia who is running for governor. Binuang di ba? (Itâs foolishness, right?)â Martinez said.
In an earlier interview, Salimbangon said Rep. Garcia is still a leading contender for governor because he has the majority of the mayors, barangay captains, non-government organization leaders and community leaders.
But in the fourth district, Martinez has remained an influential politician, being its congressman for three terms from 1987 to 1998, followed by his wife, Clavel Asas Martinez, from 1998 to 2007.
His son, Celestino âTiningâ Martinez III, ran for congressman in 2007, but Salimbangon was declared by the Comelec. Tining was declared as the real winner by the Supreme Court, but only in March 2010 or two months before the May 10, 2010 elections.
Martinez said that had there been no cheating in the 2007 elections, his family could have brought more projects that could spark economic development in the districtâs eight municipalities.
Martinez said there are now three out of nine mayors in the 4th district who are LP members, namely Sta. Fe Mayor Jennifer Ilustrisimo, Tabogon Mayor Eusebio Dungog and him.
âWe will convince the other six mayors to join LP, otherwise, we will get the vice mayors, municipal councilors and barangay captains. We will reorganize and our timetable to complete the reorganization is September,â Martinez said.
However, Martinez said he is not running for congressman, but is seeking reelection because he has to finish the economic programs that he has already started in Bogo City.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 16, 2012.