Will Eddiegul attend LP rally?

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Monday, February 18, 2013


AFTER the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) last week, now comes Team PNoy, accompanied by no less than President Aquino himself, with hopes of convincing this island’s 2.5 million registered voters to vote for its candidates in the 2013 elections.

Because of their proximity, comparisons will be made between the two events. Already, there are talks that the Liberal Party (LP) decided to hold two rallies in two days, both outside of Cebu City, because they were afraid that they would not be able to match the number that showed up for the UNA proclamation at the Plaza Independencia last week.

Cebu LP provincial chairman and gubernatorial candidate Hilario “Junjun” Davide III explained, however, that since the LP senatorial candidates already had their proclamation rally in Plaza Miranda on the same day that the UNA held theirs in Cebu, they have decided that smaller campaign sorties, rather than grand rallies, would be more appropriate.

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I do not think it is impossible for the LP to gather even 100,000 together anywhere in Cebu, provided they have the money. As retired Judge Vic Montecillo told us last week, the number of people attending a political gathering is directly proportionate to the size of the budget; the higher the budget, the bigger the attendance.

Junjun laughed when I asked him on Frankahay Ta! (101.9 News FM) if the President had given him money for the Cebu visit of Team PNoy. “No,” he said, “but we have party funds.” Apparently, he and the other LP bigwigs believe that the money is better spent for some other election-related purpose than for busing, feeding and the pocket money of 100,000 people whose votes are already spoken for, anyway.

So, welcome to Talisay City today and Liloan tomorrow, folks. Explaining the choice of venues, Davide said that proximity was a factor. He also disclosed that rallies will be held in the cities of Cebu, Danao and Bogo with the President also in attendance when the campaign period for local officials opens in late March. Similar activities are also being planned for the other cities in Cebu, he said.

An interesting sidelight to today’s event in Talisay is the presence or absence of 1st District Rep. Eddie Gullas and his grandson, Samsam, who is running unopposed to succeed the third-termer. Eddiegul, who was the city’s first mayor, is bidding for another stint at City Hall under the Nacionalista Party, which has entered into a coalition with the LP, the Nationalist People’s Coalition and the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino for the upcoming elections.

Gullas was one of those who pushed for the NP’s coalition with the LP and it would be awkward if he does not show up for the rally that is being held right in his own backyard. The fact that the President, with whom he is friendly, and two of his partymates, Sen. Allan Peter Cayetano and Rep. Cynthia Villar, will be around adds to his dilemma.

On the other hand, it would also be awkward for him to be present in a rally where Davide will likely be introduced as the next governor of Cebu, considering that he has publicly announced his support for One Cebu’s Pablo John Garcia. Moreover, the LP has fielded its own candidate for Talisay City mayor against Gullas.

My reading is that Eddiegul will show up only if he is invited by the LP, the Talisay rally being a party affair even if it is for the benefit of coalition candidates. It would not be surprising if they choose to snub him. And he’ll probably say no big deal. All politics is local. He knows that.

(frank.otherside@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 19, 2013.

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