On Gwen’s Sopa-A A +A
Monday, July 16, 2012
AFTER the big Liberal Party (LP) event in Danao City more than a week ago, Gov. Gwen Garcia’s State of the Province Address (Sopa) on July 20 is the turn of One Cebu and the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA). Vice President Jojo Binay, former president Erap Estrada and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile are expected to be the governor’s special guests.
Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale, now a stalwart of the LP, and other Liberals in the Provincial Board expressed concern that they might be placed in an embarrassing situation in what would be perceived as a primarily UNA event.
But would it not be also awkward for One Cebu to conduct the governor’s Sopa as a purely UNA event? Would it not be easier for One Cebu to do so if LP and Bakud personalities would not show themselves?
Or, do the Liberals and Bakud prefer the Sopa to appear as a purely UNA event?
Has VP Binay gained supporters in Cebu? This question popped up when two groups in Cebu invited the Vice President to speak last Saturday. One was a group of doctors and the other some 2,000 operators of sari-sari stores gathered by the Prince Warehouse Club.
In a message read by the Vice President’s daughter Nancy before sari-sari store operators, he said these micro businesses are effective means in alleviating poverty.
“While many have said that the sari-sari store is borne of the ‘isang kahig, isang tuka’ mentality of Filipinos, I choose to believe that these iconic stores came to be because of our ingenuity and ability to find opportunity in the face of adversity,” Binay said.
Come to think of it, the 2013 elections may not be for president and vice president. However, advantages gained by either UNA of Vice President Binay and the LP headed by DOTC Secretary Mar Roxas would be crucial during the 2016 presidential run.
As of the moment, I believe Binay has the upperhand being the vice president (he won against Roxas in 2010) and he still has Estrada’s support. But President Noynoy Aquino has begun using presidential influence to beef up LP. The presidential help brought the tandem of Junjun Davide-Agnes Magpale of Bakud and maybe Eddiegul’s Alayon. Let’s see how One Cebu headed by Governor Garcia and its standard-bearer Rep. PJ Garcia would conduct themselves within the next few days.
Looking at 2013 with this perspective, I expect both LP and UNA increasingly taking
turns in courting Cebuano voters. One Cebu will again have center stage come the anniversary of Cebu Province.
As far as the Liberals are concerned, I still don’t have information on visits of LP personalities except for the Cebu City Urban Poor Alliance covenant signing with former DOTC undersecretary Totol Batuhan in early August. The group’s special guests are Deputy Speaker and LP spokesman Erin Tañada and Risa Hontiveros. Both Tañada and Hontiveros are possible LP senatorial candidates close to Roxas and President Aquino.
I’m curious about the current political play of Alayon’s Eddie Gullas. Yes, he was crucial to bringing together the Liberals and the Nacionalista Party at the national level. He is on his way to becoming the leader of LP-NP alliance in the first district in Cebu Province. But can he deliver for the Davide-Magpale tandem after he allowed Alayon mayors to meet One Cebu leaders? Why are LP provincial leaders taking time to resolve the kink between San Fernando Mayor Abe Canoy and Eddiegul?
Some observers tell me that one is never sure of Eddiegul’s support until the last-minute arrangements prior to the elections.
Talking about last-minute arrangements, the Liberals should be wary of this. Projects that the administration could provide immediately might easily be forgotten. Somehow, the Liberals should be ready with counter moves.
But then, mayors should also think that President Aquino will remain president until 2016. The President will no longer have problems with former president Gloria Arroyo and former chief justice Renato Corona. Lisod na kon kontra sa Palasyo sud sa sunod tulo ka tuig.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 16, 2012.