THE local campaign period will kick off Friday, March 29 with big political groups in the province and the cities of Mandaue and Cebu starting their day with a mass and campaign sorties in their respective areas.
While the Mandaue City Police Office (MCPO) is on full alert status as it braces for the opening activities of local political groups and the 50th founding anniversary of the New People’s Army.
In Cebu, it will be a long day for candidates in the province as One Cebu candidates and the camp of Gov. Hilario Davide III and Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale kick off their campaign sorties in southern Cebu and northern Cebu, respectively.
Rep. Gwen Garcia (Cebu, 3rd) and Daphne Salimbangon of One Cebu chose to visit 15 towns in the south on the first day of the campaign period, while Davide and Magpale will start their sorties in Danao City before proceeding to 10 towns in the north.
Garcia and Magpale will face each other in the gubernatorial race while Davide and Salimbangon will vie for the vice governor’s seat.
After a mass in Argao town at 7:30 a.m., One Cebu’s caravan will proceed to Dalaguete, Alcoy, Boljoon, Oslob, Santander, Samboan, Ginatilan, MAlabuyoc, Alegria, Badian, Moalboal, Alcantara, Ronda and will end in Dumanjug.
Garcia and Salimbangon will stop in each town to raise the hands of the local candidates.
In the north, Davide of the Liberal Party and Magpale will join the rest of the Bakud candidates for a mass in Danao City at 7 a.m. before proceeding to Compostela, Carmen, Catmon, Sogod, Borbon, Tabogon, Bogo, Medellin and Daanbantayan before calling it a day in San Remigio, where they will also meet with their political leaders.
Magpale and Davide will also stop in each town and city to meet with their local candidates.
In Cebu City, the two contending political groups will start their day with a mass.
The opposition group Barug PDP-Laban will start the day by attending a mass at 4:30 a.m. at the Cebu Metropolitan Cathedral which will be followed by a handshaking in Carbon Public Market, in Barangay Ermita.
The whole opposition slate will also have breakfast right after the activity in Carbon and will continue the handshaking in Cebu City Hall.
By Friday, March 29 evening, the group will also hold two separate opening salvo in Barangay Mabolo and Basak San Nicolas.
For their part, the Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) will attend a mass by Friday, March 29 at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Barangay Guadalupe at 10:00 a.m.
BOPK will launch their official lineup on Saturday, March 30 in a proclamation rally at the Cebu City Sports Center.
MCPO Director Julian Entoma said he received a letter early this week about the political rally in Bai Hotel in the North Reclamation Area that will start on Friday evening.
This will be the opening salvo of the local party led by Rep. Jonas Cortes (Sixth District, Cebu), who is running against reelectionist Mandaue City Mayor Luigi Quisumbing.
Cortes obtained a permit to hold the rally.
Lawyer Jamaal Calipayan, Cortes's chief of staff, said the opening salvo will start at 8 p.m. and he expected that 20,000 people will attend the event.
While Quisumbing's camp will not hold a big political rally as it has been conducting dialogues in barangays in the past months.
Entoma urged local candidates, including their supporters, to avoid taunting each other to prevent violence.
Meanwhile, environmental group Eco-Waste Coalition urged candidates to use non-toxic, reusable and recyclable campaign materials like "post-consumer recycled paper."
Aileen Lucero, Eco-Waste Coalition national coordinator, urged candidates to respect the environment by being role models.
"Our nation is badly in need of local leaders who will bravely take up the cudgels for Mother Earth and all creations amid the unfolding climate, chemical and plastic crisis," Lucero said.
She said the public need servants who do not only enforce the environmental laws, but also follow them.
"We need leaders who will champion pollution prevention policies and programs to halt the continued degradation of the environment due to wastes and pollutants coming from factories, farms, markets and even from our homes, schools and offices," Lucero said.
The EcoWaste Coalition had urged the candidates to be involved in the preservation of the environment.
"Every campaign material used to woo voters-from paper to plastic-has to go somewhere after the election frenzy is over. Some of these materials may be reused, repurposed and recycled, and, regrettably, most may end up being buried or burned and wasted forever," Lucero said.
The Commission on Election will start removing campaign materials that were placed on prohibited areas. (LRC and RVC/ FMD, HBL of Superbalita Cebu/KAL)