ADMINISTRATION party One Cebu will hold its grand rally in Argao, hometown of opposition gubernatorial candidate Hilario “Junjun” Davide III, on the first day of the campaign period for local candidates on March 26.

Asked why she chose the hometown of the Liberal Party (LP) gubernatorial candidate, Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia said she is abiding by tradition, citing that in the 2004 and 2007 elections, One Cebu also held its opening salvo there.

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Davide welcomed his rival’s move.

“She (Garcia) can have their rally anywhere. It’s a free country. She can do it anywhere. I have no problem with that,” Davide said.

One Cebu will start the activity with a mass in Dumanjug, Garcia’s hometown, and where her father, former three-term governor and Rep. Pablo Garcia (Cebu, 2nd district), was born and raised.

The governor said all of One Cebu’s candidates from the six districts, 44 towns and seven cities will be there.

A caravan will follow after the mass, starting from the southwest side of Dumanjug, to the tip of Santander town, and they will end in Argao for the grand rally.

She said that, in the past, it was the second district where they held a caravan.

“Kay taga-didto ko. (It is my hometown),” the governor added.

She also said the local party has already identified seven senatorial candidates the group will support but the governor refused to name them.

Selecting a vice president, though, is not yet included in her priorities.

Sought for comment on former Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr.’s campaign for his son, Junjun, the governor said that the LP has its own campaign strategy.

“Well, ila sad na. (It’s their strategy). I have always held the former chief justice in high regard. I respect him and honor him as I do my own father,” the governor told reporters yesterday.

Billboard

On the plan of Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña to put up a billboard in the Ramos Public Market that will bear the pictures of the governor and former mayor Alvin Garcia, the governor said it is “childish.”

“You really believe that I will respond to such a childish statement?” she said, adding that she prefers to deal with more important issues.

As they are expecting Lakas-Kampi-CMD Gilberto “Gibo” Teodoro to join them on March 26, the governor clarified that she has not talked with Nacionalista Party (NP) standard bearer Manuel Villar.

“No, I have not talked with Sen. Manny Villar but I am aware that they continue to hope that I would support them. In fact, the very reason that they have not put up a gubernatorial candidate even if we know for a fact that Vice Gov. Greg Sanchez had, at one time, solicited for their support unta because he wanted to run for governor pero wa man gyud sila’y gi-put up nga kontra naku,” she said.

She said NP “really, really shows its continued hope that I would eventually change my support in their favor.”

Youth

Meanwhile, over 200 student leaders from the four campuses of the University of Cebu (UC) expressed their support for Davide’s gubernatorial bid.

However, Erwin Andaya, president of the student government of UC Main Campus, said they are not really supporting any candidate.

“But we are supporting his (Davide) and the Liberal Party’s advocacy for good governance,” said Andaya.

Davide is also the Cebu provincial chairman of the LP.

During his talk in the culmination program of UC’s First Annual Student Leaders Congress held yesterday main campus, Davide told the students to use their good judgment, values and idealism in choosing leaders in the May elections.

“Choose what is right and just. Choose the one that possesses the best qualities of a leader that you are looking for,” Davide said.

He added that the student leaders have also a social responsibility in telling their friends, brothers and their communities on who they will be voting for and whom they think brings the best vision for the future of the country.

During the program, Andaya together with other student leaders handed over to Davide a tarpaulin containing the youth’s vision of a good leader.

Andaya said they want government leaders who are people- and service-oriented, clear and impartial, accountable, open and transparent, responsive and decisive, fair and impartial, competent and effective, a model of integrity, a consensus-builder, and has a strategic vision.

In the same event, the Cebu City Task Force for Street Children received a P30,000-donation from the student leaders of UC for promoting the welfare and protection of the city’s street children.

The amount was turned over to the CCTFSC Executive Director Anabeth Cuizon in behalf of First Lady Margot Osmeña, who chairs the organization. (RSA/PDF)