LP organizes 2 Cebu rallies next week-A A +A
Saturday, February 16, 2013
ALLIES of President Benigno Aquino III who want a seat in the Senate will hold campaign rallies in Cebu on Feb. 19 and 20, a week after the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) proclaimed their candidates here.
Lawyer Hilario Davide III, the Liberal Party’s (LP) gubernatorial candidate in Cebu, said that President Aquino and all the candidates will be in the province.
On Feb. 19, the first rally will be held in Lawaan 3, Talisay City, while the second rally will be done in Tayud Sports Complex, Liloan.
The official campaign period for Senate and party-list candidates started on Feb. 12.
On that day, Team PNoy held its own proclamation rally in Plaza Miranda, Manila, while UNA held theirs in Plaza Independencia in Cebu City.
Davide said that on Feb. 19, the Senate candidates and the president will arrive in the afternoon after their visit to Dumaguete.
The rally is scheduled from 5 to 9 p.m. in Lawaan 3. There will be no motorcade on
The LP in Cebu will suggest having a motorcade on the second day from Cebu City to Liloan, where its program is scheduled to start at 10 a.m.
Liloan Mayor Duke Frasco said all of them are welcome in the town. “Of all the towns in Cebu, they’ll walk into mine. We must be special,” read Frasco’s text message to Sun.Star Cebu.
He just heard about the rally and has not received in his office a formal request for traffic assistance or security.
Frasco, son-in-law of the suspended Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, is a One Cebu ally.
One Cebu is an allied party of UNA.
For his part, Davide said the campaign will be for senators.
If there are local officials who will talk on stage, they will only introduce the senatorial candidates or the president, Davide said.
“Ila ni. This is their show sa mga senador (This is for the aspiring senators),” he said.
Davide is running against Rep. Pablo John Garcia (Cebu Province, 3rd district) of One Cebu.
According to a police estimate, the crowd in last week’s UNA rally in Cebu city was about 50,000.
Asked whether they will try to match or surpass that number, Davide said, “No, not necessarily. We are not competing with them. This is not a proclamation rally. This is a (campaign) rally. We expect 4,000 to 5,000 (crowds),” Davide answered for a crowd estimate.
He hopes the local candidates will also be introduced by Aquino. He clarified there will be no celebrities during the rally.
“Makapaniguro gyud ta nga way dad-on nga government vehicles except tingali sa mga LP nga incumbents kay ila manang official cars pero I don’t know ha (We assure everyone that there will be no government-owned vehicles used except for the incumbents who will be using their officials cars but I don’t really know),” Davide said.
Acting Gov. Agnes Magpale, Davide’s running mate, said she will use her private car when attending the rally. She said a meeting will be set for all the LP members to remind them of the Comelec rules.
“We will abide by what Comelec will allow,” Magpale told reporters.
The competition between LP and UNA’s allies in Cebu has heated up since Dec. 19, when the Office of the President’s suspension order for six months reached Governor Garcia.
During UNA’s rally last week, the governor’s allegedly illegal suspension was repeatedly mentioned by some candidates and the governor herself.
“UNA (United Nationalist Alliance) is ahead of them. Nag-una ang UNA (UNA is ahead),” said Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama when told of the Liberal Party (LP) campaign rally next week.
He does not want the details though, saying, “I’m not interested.”
Rep. Tomas Osmeña (Cebu City, south district) said he has already booked the Cebu City Coliseum for the national party’s campaign rally where the senatorial candidates will be introduced to Cebu City.
Osmeña said he received a call from Sen. Franklin Drilon last week that the LP senatorial bets will be in Cebu so he immediately booked the coliseum for the 20th, a safe venue in case it rains.
The coliseum is a much smaller venue than Plaza Independencia where UNA had its proclamation rally last Monday.
The coliseum has a seating capacity of 12,000 people while the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) estimated that the UNA rally gathered P25,000 people.
But Osmeña downplayed the number because his monitoring team, he said, estimated only between 4,000 and 5,000 people.
Besides, Osmeña said rallies really do not matter. It is the pulong-pulongs that make a difference. “The people who show up will vote for you anyway, so what’s the point?” said Osmeña.
The congressman said there will be no “hakot” or ferrying of supporters but their leaders will be invited to the LP campaign rally.
But should they need to rent Kaoshiung buses, would they be able to? “Let’s cross the bridge when we get there,” was Rama’s answer. It’s the mayor who approves the request for buses.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 16, 2013.