AT 79, former Cebu City congressman Antonio Cuenco is still willing to run for the south district congressional seat next year, if barangay captains want him to.

Although Team Rama already announced that it would field City Councilor Gerardo Carillo for the position, Cuenco said he can be the “spare tire” and be the substitute candidate should the party’s plans change.

“Gerry has already been chosen but at the same time, I don’t know if it’s true, I heard from somebody that he’s not faring very well in the surveys for the position of congressman. But he’s a friend of mine, so I hope he picks up,” Cuenco told reporters yesterday.

Background

“But if he does not pick up, we have to have somebody there as a substitute, and I’m willing to be the substitute. I’m not craving for the position… but I’m still very healthy and available if called upon by Team Rama,” he said.

Cuenco was south district congressman from 1988 to1998, then from 2001 to 2004, and from 2004 to 2010. He also became the secretary-general of the 10-country Asean Inter-Parliamentary Assembly in 2010 and recently joined City Hall as consultant on foreign affairs.

At the City Hall yesterday, Cuenco dropped by a press conference organized by the barangay captains and told them about his willingness to run if they want him to.

He said he will consult barangay leaders about it.

“If you want me to run, that’s up to all of you… but even if I’m in the private sector, I will continue to help you,” he said.

Candidates for the north

Cuenco told the barangay captains this after one of them approached him yesterday and told him that there are a lot of barangay captains who are hoping he would run for congressman.

He said that despite his age, he is still healthy and will be able to join Team Rama during the campaign.

In a separate interview, Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella welcomed Cuenco’s pronouncement, and said that changes are still possible since the election is still one year away.

As for Team Rama’s possible candidates for north district congressman, he said the names of City Councilors Noel Wenceslao and Mary Ann de los Santos and former mayor Alvin Garcia were floated.

“Even my name was mentioned. We’ll see, anything can happen,” said Labella.