TO ASSESS how One Cebu candidates are doing, the party is commissioning an in-house survey among all municipal and city candidates. The survey will also include presidential candidates.

Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia said the party started the survey in the first week of January. The governor did not name the group handling the survey but said they have tapped it since 2004.

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The survey results will guide One Cebu candidates and will only be for their use, said Garcia.

Once the results are presented to the candidates, Garcia said she would either warn them against over-confidence or challenge and encourage them to work harder.

Garcia said they will commission more surveys—one at the start of the campaign period with the last one two weeks before the May elections.

“At this point, to gloat over survey results would not only show one’s little or lack of knowledge on how to run a campaign. It might even lull you to overconfidence and

complacency, which will only be detrimental to your candidacy,” she said.

The governor was referring to recent comments by Vice Gov. Gregorio Sanchez that he continues to top in surveys and even got a 90 percent rating without campaigning. Sanchez is a Liberal Party (LP) candidate.

Garcia also clarified that they are not using Capitol employees to conduct the survey, taking potshots at Sanchez, who is accused of assigning four employees to his private farm for a livelihood program.

Garcia said she may not need the survey but since she has a new running mate, she has to go out and campaign.

Soco, she said, needs more exposure.

“As a candidate, he is a natural,” she said. Garcia said people are very curious about Soco because media played up the issue that the two are romantically linked, which they denied.

Garcia, meanwhile, accused Sanchez of riding on her popularity by pushing for a Gwen-Greg tandem in the towns and barangays.

Sanchez has denied the accusation.

“But you know the vice governor and you know me. It’s his word against mine and the word of mayors and other leaders of the towns and cities that we have been to. What I am told by our leaders and other officials is that he wants to ride on my popularity,” Garcia said.

Loyalty

Former Cebu City councilor Hilario Davide III, Garcia’s opponent and Sanchez’s candidate for governor, said he is sure of his running mate’s loyalty.

Although he thanked the governor for her concern, he said he is certain Sanchez “remains steadfast and loyal not only to the Liberal Party” but also to their candidacies.

“We have been to several towns and several barangays and I have observed how vice governor Sanchez campaigns for Noynoy Aquino and Mar Roxas, and how he strongly supports my candidacy for governor,” Davide told Sun.Star Cebu.

In a separate press statement, Davide said that if the governor hopes “that such petty suggestions will break up” their partnership, he said Garcia will be disappointed.

Former third district congressman Antonio Yapha, meanwhile, said allegations of massive graft and corruption at the Capitol will help them win in the elections. Yapha is LP’s candidate for the third district.

Unfinished

In an interview with radio dyDD, Yapha said Lakas-Kampi candidates in Cebu led by the governor are confident that they will win because they are popular and have access to taxpayers’ money.

“Our LP candidates cannot be ignored. If the graft and corruption issue will snowball and the people can see how government money is being wasted amid the people’s hunger and death due to lack of medicine, their kingdom will crumble by May 2010,” Yapha said.

He said that while they have only one incumbent mayor in the third district, their candidates for mayor in Tuburan, Asturias, Balamban and Aloguinsan are winnable.

“If I will win again, I will continue my unfinished business of water system, health care, electrification, roads and schools,” Yapha said. (RSA/With EOB)