Gwen drops bid for Senate seat-A A +A
Friday, September 21, 2012
AFTER weeks of speculations, Vice President Jejomar Binay finally confirmed yesterday morning that Gov. Gwen Garcia will no longer run for senator.
Hours later, the governor’s father, Rep. Pablo “Pabling” Garcia (Cebu, second district), said Gwen will seek the third district’s congressional seat instead.
“Uulitin ko, hindi na ho siya magpapatuloy sa pagkandidato sa senador. Hindi ang dahilan yung survey, kung hindi dahil kailangan magsama sama sila dito sa Cebu (She will not pursue plans to run for senator. It’s not because of the survey results, but because they need to be united here),” Binay told reporters in an interview in Argao town yesterday morning.
For the vice president, it was the most logical decision to make.
“Kasi mas kailangan siya dito sa panahon ng kampanya. Nandiyan po ang kanyang kapatid, kandidatong gobernador, nandiyan po ang kanyang tatay, kandidato rin (She is needed here more during the campaign, especially since her brother will run for governor and her father will seek a reelection),” Binay said.
He said that it’s too early to predict who will win, so recent survey results may not reflect the outcome of the election.
In an interview aired over radio dyLA, Pabling said that Gwen’s decision to stay in Cebu was the consensus during her meeting with the third district mayors and Provincial Board (PB) members at the Marco Polo Hotel last Sept. 14.
He admitted, though, that the survey results may have been one of the factors that Gwen considered when she decided not to run for senator.
Garcia landed on the 45th spot in a survey last year, 32nd in a survey last June and 25th in the Pulse Asia survey last week.
There are only 12 Senate seats to be filled up in next year’s midterm election.
Pabling said the Garcia family decided it would be best to ask Gwen not to pursue her senatorial bid after the mayors and other One Cebu allies requested her to stay in Cebu, so she can help with the campaign for the 2013 elections.
Gwen will run for congresswoman in the third district, the seat that her brother Rep. Pablo John Garcia (Cebu, 3rd) will vacate. Pablo John will seek to replace Gwen as governor.
The third district covers the towns of Aloguinsan, Barili, Pinamungahan, Asturias, Tuburan, Balamban and Toledo City.
Gwen was earlier slated to run under the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) coalition headed by Binay. Other UNA allies are former president Joseph Estrada and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.
Binay said party officials are discussing who will replace Gwen.
The vice president was in Cebu yesterday to lead the groundbreaking for the 618-unit Argao District Housing Project on a 4.5-hectare area in Barangay Binlod.
Argao Mayor Edsel Galeos said the project was initiated by then mayor Wilfredo Caminero and former congressman Simeon Kintanar.
When asked how PB Member Alex Binghay reacted to the change of plans, Pabling said Binghay didn’t see any problem at all.
“Kumpareng Alex took it well and he doesn’t have any problem with that. He knows that Gwen’s voter’s registration record in Barili is valid,” the former governor said.
Gwen has transferred her residency from Dumanjug town in the second district to Barili town in the third district.
Binghay earlier showed interest to run for third district congressman, but he said he is willing to give way to the governor if she decides to run for the same position.
Anyway, Binghay is still qualified to run for a third term for a PB seat, Pabling pointed out.
The deputy speaker said the third district mayors were grateful that Gwen decided to run for the district’s congressional seat.
He said Gwen has a potential to win because Pablo John has a lot of supporters there.
Among the possible opponents of Gwen in next year’s election is Pinamungahan Mayor Geraldine Yapha, a Liberal Party (LP) ally.
In a phone interview yesterday, LP Cebu chairman and gubernatorial aspirant Hilario Davide III said he knew all along that Gwen will not run for senator.
“I’ve expected that she will not pursue her senatorial bid because of the survey ratings… She hasn’t been rating well that’s why she probably decided not to pursue the bid for a Senate seat,” he added.
Meanwhile, Davide announced that the LP is considering Grecilda Sanchez-Zaballero, the daughter of the late Vice Gov. Gregorio Sanchez, to run for a PB seat in the third district.
He said he asked the opinion of the third district chairman, former congressman Antonio Yapha, on Zaballero’s candidacy, and the former was amenable to it.
In an interview, Zaballero said she has expressed her willingness to run, if the party needs her services.
“If they think I can help the party by being and serving as a candidate for (the Provincial) Board, I have expressed my interest and willingness to help,” she said.
Davide also said yesterday that he received his certificate of nomination and
acceptance from LP last Sept. 17, as the official candidate for Cebu governor.
The certificate is one of the requirements in the filing of the certificate of candidacy, which still start on Oct. 1.
He also received the document that authorizes him to nominate and issue certificates of nomination to the party’s candidates in the province.
“I will be the one to issue a certificate of nomination,” Davide said.
Both documents were signed by LP national president and Interior Secretary Mar Roxas
last on Sept. 14.
Davide said he will issue the certificate of nomination to the candidates for vice governor, PB members and mayors, while congressional aspirants will get their certificates from the LP headquarters in Manila.
Davide instructed lawyer Ramil Abing, his executive assistant, to call the candidates for mayors for a consultation, so that they can come up with a final lineup of candidates in the towns and cities.
He said that they will complete the lineup by Sept. 28.
He said they will choose candidates who have the “winnability,” and individuals who are good for the party.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 21, 2012.