Alayon allies’ loyalty ‘split’-A A +A
Monday, September 24, 2012
FIRST district mayors under Alayon will support the Liberal Party’s (LP) national ticket in 2013, but this does not mean they will support the local LP candidates, said Mayor Valdemar Chiong.
The City of Naga mayor added that Alayon’s mayors in the first district, except for one, have pledged to support One Cebu party’s gubernatorial and vice gubernatorial aspirants.
Rep. Pablo John Garcia (Cebu, 3rd district) confirmed separately that Rep. Eduardo Gullas (Cebu, 1st district) and his grandson, Gerald Anthony “Samsam” Gullas, have pledged support to him in next year’s elections.
“Yes, on several occasions, both private and public. So has Samsam Gullas and all Alayon mayors in the first district,” Garcia said in a text message yesterday.
Local conflicts arising from a coalition of the LP and Nacionalista Party (NP) will be taken up in a meeting in Quezon City today.
Rep. Gullas, the Alayon chairman, said the first meeting was conducted before Congress adjourned last week.
Gullas said he will head the NP’s arbitration committee delegation, as requested by Sen. Manuel Villar, the NP’s president. His committee members are Rep. Mark Villar, the senator’s son, and Rep. Boying Remulla of Cavite.
Gullas said that on the side of LP, those who will attend are Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas, the LP president; Sen. Franklin Drilon, the LP executive vice president; Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Florencio Abad, the LP vice president for planning; Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) Secretary Antonio Abaya, the LP secretary general; and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte.
Cebu, Gullas said, is on a list of areas where few problems are expected for the LP-NP coalition, due to the lack of opposing local candidates.
A second list contains congressional districts and provinces where conflicts among local party leaders running for different positions are expected, but that solutions are available.
The third list has areas where local members of LP and NP will run against each other and the coalition arbitration committee expects these conflicts will be difficult to solve.
“The LP-NP arbitration will try to solve these local concerns in our meeting today,” Gullas said.
Interviewed separately, Chiong said he believes that Rep. Gullas will support Congressman Garcia in next year’s gubernatorial elections.
The certificates of candidacy have to be submitted from Oct. 1-5.
“In the beginning, we have been in support of Pablo John for the governorship,” Chiong said.
Davide, LP chairman in Cebu, told Sun.Star the party will respect the Alayon members’ decision to limit their support of the LP to the national candidates.
“We respect the positions of the local members of Alayon,” said Davide, who is running for governor for the second time.
Two other LP allies in the first district were more blunt.
“If Eddiegul says that he doesn’t want to support Junjun (Davide), then the reality in our district is that the coalition between Alayon and LP is useless and only in name,” said Talisay City opposition Councilor Romeo Villarante.
Villarante said he and his cohorts in Talisay City have given Davide their position against the proposed alliance between LP and Alayon.
“We will never share the same stage with them,” Villarante said, referring to Alayon’s candidates.
One leader who was vocal against the alliance was San Fernando Mayor Antonio “Abe” Canoy, the LP’s first district chairman.
Canoy, in an earlier interview, said that the proposed alliance will only benefit the national candidates that the LP will field in next year’s elections. But in the district, Canoy believes such an alliance will do more harm than good.
Canoy added that the reason Gullas wants to merge with LP is to ensure that the candidacy of his grandson Samsam Gullas goes unopposed.
In the last election, not all of Alayon’s endorsed candidates won in the first district.
For the May 2010 elections, Alayon’s leadership had endorsed Sen. Manuel Villar of the NP for the presidency and Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia’s reelection campaign.
Both, however, lost in the district to then-senator Benigno Aquino III and Davide, respectively, both of the LP.
Gullas previously announced he is supporting Vice Governor Agnes Magpale’s candidacy for the vice gubernatorial race in 2013. She is LP’s candidate against former Danao City vice mayor Ramon “Boboy” Durano IV, who is running with One Cebu.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 24, 2012.