PNoy to proclaim LP Senate ticket in Talisay today-A A +A
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
CEBU Province’s law enforcers will be on heightened alert today as President Benigno Aquino III attends the proclamation rally of the Liberal Party (LP) in Talisay City.
Some 5,000 supporters and incumbent officials are expected to join the rally, including members of the Alayon Party in the first district.
Senior Supt. Patrocinio Comendador, director of the Cebu Provincial Police Office (CPPO), said he will deploy police teams to the venue and provide route security.
Comendador said a crowd dispersal management team will also be sent in case problems with crowd control will arise.
“We don’t foresee any problem but we’re just ready for anything… We expect a lot of people will come,” he told reporters yesterday.
Local LP allies assured there will be no “hakot” crowd and that government vehicles will not be seen in their campaign rallies today and tomorrow.
The LP chose Talisay City and Liloan town as the venues of their rallies.
Lawyer Hilario Davide III, LP Cebu chairman and gubernatorial candidate, said they will not force the people to join their sorties.
“We are not after the quantity. Di man ni hakot sa manan-aw nga audience (We will not be herding our supporters there),” Davide said in a press conference.
They are expecting 3,000 to 5,000 supporters to join the rally, which will be held on a vacant lot in front of the Talisay City Hall at 6 p.m.
LP candidates are expected to be at the venue at 5 p.m. while the President is expected to arrive by 6:30 p.m.
Davide said they chose Talisay City as the venue for their first rally in Cebu because it has the biggest voting population in the first district. The first district also has the largest voting population in the province.
Acting Cebu Gov. Agnes Magpale said incumbent officials were reminded not to use government-owned vehicles for the activity.
She also assured that no one will be paid just to attend the rally and listen to the speeches of the President and the senatorial bets.
Magpale acknowledged, though, that transportation might be a problem for residents of the different towns who want to join the rally.
“The most that would be done would be that the organizers will be the ones to look for vehicles for them,” she told reporters yesterday.
Magpale also clarified that it is not a rally but a “community consultative meeting.”
She said they initially planned to hold the rally in other venues in Talisay—at the East Visayan Academy grounds and in Barangay Lawaan 3—but they were refused twice.
Among those who plan to join tonight’s rally are members of the first district’s ruling party.
In a text message sent to Sun.Star Cebu yesterday, first district congressional aspirant Gerald Anthony “Samsam” Gullas Jr. said he, his grandfather and outgoing Rep. Eduardo Gullas (Cebu, 1st) and other members of Alayon Party will attend the LP proclamation rally in Barangay Lawaan 2.
Majority of city and town mayors and their councilors allied with Alayon will also join the activity, Naga City Mayor Valdemar Chiong said yesterday.
In an interview, Chiong said that officials of the cities of Talisay, Naga and Carcar and the towns of Minglanilla, San Fernando and Sibonga who are allied with Alayon will attend the rally to accompany the outgoing congressman and his grandson.
Gullas said they are attending the rally not only to express support for the programs of President Aquino, but also to support the senatorial candidates affiliated with the Nacionalista Party (NP).
The Manny Villar-led NP, which Alayon is allied with, is in a coalition with the LP.
For his part, Rep. Pablo John Garcia (Cebu, 3rd), who is running for governor under One Cebu party, said he expected members of the Alayon Party to be present in the rally.
“I expect some of our allies, particularly from Alayon in the first district, since they are allied with NP, to be there as well to support their senatorial candidates,” Garcia said in a text message sent to Sun.Star Cebu.
Garcia said he understands that Alayon’s presence at the LP rally is purely for the senatorial campaign.
At the local level, One Cebu has formed an alliance with Alayon, but at the national level, One Cebu is supporting the senatorial candidates of the United Nationalist Alliance.
Earlier, Rep. Gullas expressed his support for Garcia’s gubernatorial bid.
“We welcome them to Cebu and thank them for giving importance to Cebu,” Garcia said of LP.
Tomorrow, Team PNoy will hold its second rally at the Tayud Sports Complex in Liloan, but the President is not expected to join the event. The rally will be held from 10 a.m. to noon.
The Cebu City Coliseum was considered a venue but Team PNoy decided to focus on the Province first, Davide said. He said the president will be back during the local campaign period to endorse their local candidates.
Meanwhile, Talisay City Councilor Romeo Villarante, a lawyer, accused officials of the City Government of disapproving their request to hold the LP rally at the old Tabunok Public Market.
Villarante, who is allied with LP, claimed that while they were able to get the approval of Talisay City Mayor Socrates Fernandez to use the old market grounds for the rally, the mayor’s allies reversed his decision.
He named Talisay City Vice Mayor Alan Bucao and City Councilors Rodi Cabigas, Bernard Odilao, Dennis Basillote and Edward Alesna as those who convinced Fernandez to change his mind.
Fernandez’s decision not to allow LP to use the market grounds eventually led to the use of a vacant lot in front of City Hall in Lawaan 2 as the venue for the LP proclamation rally.
But in a separate interview, Fernandez denied that he approved the use of the old public market.
Fernandez said he told Villarante that he would consult his allies before he decides on the councilor’s request. He recalled telling Villarante to look for another venue after finding out that the old public market had to be closed as ordered by the court.
Talisay Vice Mayor Alan Bucao also denied allegations that they ganged up on Villarante.
While he admitted that he talked to Villarante, Bucao said they only talked about approving his request for traffic support for the rally tonight. Bucao is the chairman of the City of Talisay Operations and Development Authority.
When they discussed the use of the old public market property for the rally, Bucao told Villarante that only the mayor has the power to approve such request.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 19, 2013.