OUR media friend from Bohol, Andy Manatad, was called to Manila last week to attend a national meeting of the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) of former president Joseph “Erap” Estrada.

Manatad, who is a regular guest in our weekly TV program over the Cebu Catholic Television Network, is PMP provincial coordinator for Bohol. He was absent from our program the previous Wednesday, and when he showed up this week, he got red-faced when we talked about campaign funds.

He said they were disappointed when Erap’s campaign supremo, Ernie Maceda, told them bluntly that they couldn’t expect campaign funds. Andy said that all along they thought they would be given “mobilization” fund. As the PMP’s candidate for second district congressman, Andy has spent his own money in moving around the province for the party.

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Erap, during a mid-week campaign sortie in Gapan, Nueva Ecija, has admitted that an El Niño of funds has hit his campaign. He added that campaign funds are more difficult to come by this time than in 1998 “when he won the presidency with the biggest lead.” “It must be because our economy is bad,” Erap said.

Truth of the matter is that other presidential candidates have not been giving campaign funds to their provincial supporters, signifying that actual expenses for ground level campaigners may have been re-programmed to fund print and broadcast media commercials, learning from the experience of Manny Villar, whose candidacy has boosted his presidential candidacy to even up with early leader Noynoy Aquino. Villar got into a media propaganda binge out of his personal funds, and getting such amazing results.

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In reaction to our piece yesterday about Cebu City politics, I got this text message from my former student in political science at the University of San Jose Recoletos: “i tink tomas is undermining da osmena name. there was leaked result of survey about councilor bets dat tomas did not release to public.

It appears two osmenas running for councilor in south came out tail enders in a survey said made by bopk itself. dis came out in bobby nalzaro’s column. something is wrong in da osmena political image. could it be his supposed dictatorial ways?”

The political imbroglio in the city is getting out of hand on the part of the Osmeñas, assuming that what my texter said is true. My friend Bobby, I think, knows more than I do about what’s going on in the city. I am more interested in what’s going on in Cebu’s third district. So far, I am committed to vote for PJ Garcia for Congress, and Balamban Mayor Alex Binghay for Provincial Board member.