Kusug favors mixed ticket for May-A A +A
Sunday, March 3, 2013
KUGI Uswag Sugbo (Kusug) will hold its convention today to pick local candidates to endorse for the May 2013 elections. There is no plan to endorse senatorial candidates just yet.
Kusug president Raymond Garcia told Sun.Star Cebu it will be a mix of candidates from Team Rama and Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK), but mostly of the former.
“Contrary to people’s perception, it will be a mixture of both parties, but majority from Team Rama,” said Garcia.
Kusug will not be endorsing a complete slate, but will support candidates for mayor, vice mayor, congressional candidates for the north and south districts, and five councilors each for the north and south.
Garcia did not name the candidates Kusug will be endorsing, saving the announcement for today.
But he said Kusug cannot turn its back on Cogon-Pardo Barangay Captain Eugenio Gabuya, whom he described as a member of the party from the start.
“He has not officially resigned from the party even when he filed his certificate of candidacy with BOPK. We owe it to him because he has been with us since day one,” said Garcia.
Garcia said Kusug consulted barangay leaders, as well as Kusug stalwarts like former city mayor Alvin Garcia and former councilor Aven Piramide.
The convention today will start with a short program, followed by the formal endorsement of candidates. The endorsed candidates for mayor and vice mayor will then be asked to deliver a short acceptance speech.
The endorsement comes four weeks before the official campaign period for local candidates will start on March 29.
“We didn’t want it to be that early because people might just forget about it,” said Garcia.
Garcia said the fact that Kusug is endorsing candidates means the party will be campaigning for those candidates. There is no formal coalition with Team Rama but any Kusug member who wants to join Team Rama campaign sorties can do so.
The party is expecting about 500 members to attend today’s event at the Grand Convention Center, including barangay officials and most of the endorsed candidates.
As to the following of Kusug, Garcia pointed out that that based on the 2010 elections, his father, Alvin, garnered over 100,000 votes. This could indicate how string the party still is.
“Kusug still has a strong following,” said Garcia. (Disclosure: The younger Garcia is Sun.Star Cebu’s assistant vice president for administration and legal affairs, while former mayor Garcia serves on the board of directors of Sun.Star Publishing Inc.)
Among the Kusug members running for elective posts in the May 13, 2013 elections are Jerry Guardo, Sambag I barangay captain, who is running for city councilor, and Mary Ann delos Santos, Lahug barangay councilwoman, who is also running for councilor.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 03, 2013.