BCLP presidency a ‘stepping stone’

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Sunday, January 12, 2014


GETTING the presidency of the Barangay Councilors’ League of the Philippines (BCLP) is a step toward a possible elective post in the Cebu City Government come 2016.

It is also an indication that lawyer Raymond Garcia is following in his father’s footsteps, former Cebu City mayor Alvin Garcia.

“I’d like to think so,” said Garcia of the possibility of running and winning a mayoral race in the future.

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The number one barangay councilor of Kamputhaw said people greet him warmly each time he introduces himself as the son of former mayor Garcia. Alvin has also been very supportive of his candidacy, said Raymond, 36.

If given a spot under Mayor Michael Rama’s slate in 2016, Raymond said he’s willing to accept the challenge.

While it was a tough task to beat the incumbent, Councilor Garcia said he and his slate worked hard to win.

“It’s always hard to fight an incumbent. But we attributed it to hard work. In comparison to our counterpart, we went to all barangays not once, not twice, but three times, sometimes four,” said Garcia.

Garcia won against not just the incumbent BCLP Cebu City president, but also the league’s national president in Kasambagan Councilman Franklyn Ong.

Garcia garnered 306 votes compared to Ong’s 215.

By the time Garcia got the majority vote of 263 by 11:30 p.m., Ong was quick to approach his winning opponent and shook his hands.

“He already got the majority so I shook his hands. It was a good fight and if my fellow barangay councilors voted for him, then I will accept that,” said Ong.

Tejero Councilor Garry Lao, candidate for secretary, conceded earlier.

With just about a hundred votes counted, Lao texted secretary-elect Grace Baquero his congratulations, saying he already saw the trend.

Trust and confidence

Meanwhile, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama described the victory of his allies during the BCLP election as a reminder that many believe in the stand of his group.

“That’s somehow emphasizing that they believe in us. I wish everything was a message that they believe in the stand of Team Rama,” he said in an interview with Sun.Star Cebu.

Rama, though, clarified that he did not expected the landslide victory.

“There are just too many barangay councilors and you cannot convince them all,” he
said.

He was also thankful for the back-to-back victory of his allies in BCLP and in Association of Barangay Councils (ABC).

Asked if the victory is an another indication that his rival group, Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK), has lost its hold in the barangays,
Rama said he no longer want to say anything about it since it was already clear that they made it in the two organizations.

“Let’s just continue the public service,” Rama added.

Sun.Star Cebu tried to get the comment of BOPK head and former South congressman Tomas Osmeña, but he was not available for comment yesterday.

Rama won his reelection bid last May against Osmeña, his former political ally.

Winners

The winners in the BCLP are: President: Raymond Garcia (Kamputhaw); Executive Vice President, Litoy Ceniza (Kalunasan); Vice President (South), Eugen Tabas (Toong); Vice President (North), Yody Sanchez (Busay); Secretary, Grace Baquero (Punta Princesa); Treasurer, Maria Pino (Ermita); Auditor, David Agravante (Zapatera); PRO, Gerry Auxilio Jr.; BODs (North), Troy Tan (Kasambagan), Bradex Flores (Day-as), Frank Gajudo (Mabolo), Lino Bontilao (Pit-Os), BODs (South): Boy Ababon (Bonbon) and Jojo Peralta (San Nicolas Proper).

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 12, 2014.

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