For LP folks, a mass, planking and ‘10’ balloons-A A +A
Thursday, January 10, 2013
GROUPS allied with the Liberal Party (LP) prayed for peace, justice and the rule of law in a mass that drew around 1,200 supporters inside Our Lady of the Sacred Heart, about a kilometer from One Cebu’s rally at the Capitol.
Atty. Hilario Davide III and Acting Gov. Agnes Magpale, the LP’s candidates for governor and vice governor, respectively, were absent because they reportedly attended a function in Sibonga town.
Both Magpale and Davide were against holding rallies, especially on the same day as that of the supporters of Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, as that might cause trouble. So they settled last week for a prayer rally or mass, said Cynthia Barrit, one of the organizers.
At no point did the two groups meet.
By the time the LP’s mass ended around 4:30 p.m., the One Cebu rally in the intersection in front of the Capitol building was still in full swing.
After the mass, the LP’s supporters released white balloons tied together to form the number “10”. Each balloon was marked: “For the rule of law to prevail”.
“As a symbol of our intention, the number 10 represents the 10 commandments of God, which should be the basis for the application of the rule of law,” said Commissioner Erwin Andaya of the National Youth Commission (NYC)-Visayas.
Outside, on busy Escario St., youth volunteers from Dalaguete dropped to the ground and formed the figure 10 for 10 seconds.
Andaya said that “planking” episode was also a reference to today, “which date will hopefully put to rest whatever political tension our province is experiencing.”
The Court of Appeals will hear today arguments on Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia’s petition for review on the six-month suspension the President imposed on her since Dec. 19.
Ten persons, each representing a sector like women, professionals, senior citizens and non-government groups, also led the prayers of the faithful.
The Gospel was about Jesus walking on water and calming the waves to assure the safety of his disciples in a boat (based on Mark 6:45-52).
“God looked at the problem and solved it,” said Fr. Jerome Antogop in his homily. He stressed the need to act for the greater good of the majority and to show humility (“pagtan-aw sa kaayuhan sa kadaghanan ug ang pag paubos).”
Garcia’s suspension stemmed from the administrative complaint filed by the late Vice Gov. Gregorio Sanchez Jr. The Office of the President has found her guilty and ordered her suspension for six months, but the governor believes the order is illegal and timed to remove her from office, incidentally during the election season.
“Namatay siya nga adunay kahiubos (He died with an unresolved hurt),” said Grezilda “Gigi” Sanchez-Zaballero on her father’s death in April 2011, barely a year after he won in the 2010 election.
“He wanted to leave a legacy, to protect the rights of his office and the rights of whoever sits in that office,” she added. Zaballero is running for a seat in the Provincial Board (PB) representing Cebu’s third district.
Among the personalities seen in the mass, aside from Zaballero and her mother Leonarda Sanchez, were PB Members Arleigh Sitoy, Willy Caminero, Peter John Calderon, Jude Sybico and Miguel Magpale.
Also seen were Cebu Councilors’ League president Ivy Durano-Meca, Tuburan Mayor Aljun Diamante, Consolacion Mayor Teresa Alegado and Samboan Mayor Raymond Calderon.
Talisay City Councilors Val Ylanan, Danny Caballero and Romy Villarante also attended the mass.
Assistant sacristan mayor Tony Mayol said the church has a seating capacity of 800.
That, plus around 400 people standing in the lobby and on the sides, places the crowd at approximately 1,200.
Barrit, though, said the crowd reached 1,500.
In an interview, Department of Interior and Local Government Assistant Regional Director Elias Fernandez said there was nothing wrong if mayors indeed asked their constituents to join rallies, for as long as their constituents are not forced to do so.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 10, 2013.