IN the end, her work for women and the environment gave Sen. Loren Legarda a way into One Cebu’s ticket.
The local administration party last night confirmed it will support the vice presidential campaign of the Nacionalista Party candidate, but assured it remains firmly behind presidential aspirant Gilberto Teodoro Jr. of Lakas-Kampi-CMD.
One Cebu also picked 11 Senate candidates from six parties, including three from Lakas-Kampi.
“In this season of shifting political alliances, we realize that there will be so many attempts to create intrigues…that perhaps, just perhaps, One Cebu might change its stand,” said Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, who heads One Cebu.
“Well, I have news for all of them. I will say it again and again: nothing has changed; nothing will change. One Cebu believes in palabra de honor. And we stand firmly committed to support the candidacy of Gilbert ‘Gibo’ Teodoro,” she said.
The party’s choices for vice president and the Senate were announced at the launch of congressional candidate Luigi Quisumbing’s headquarters yesterday afternoon in Mandaue City. Both Legarda and Teodoro attended.
Nearly all the selected Senate aspirants made it to the next event at the Cebu International Convention Center.
So did Mandaue City mayoral candidate Nerissa Soon-Ruiz, whose absence in recent One Cebu events fueled talks she will support Legarda’s running mate, Sen. Manny Villar, instead of Teodoro.
Legarda called the endorsement the “most essential part” of her campaign.
“I need Cebu. I need One Cebu. I need Gwen,” the senator said.
The governor recalled Legarda was the first to support her daughter, lawyer Cristina Codilla-Frasco, when the latter got punched by a Japanese national at the airport.
“She didn’t even know that Cristina is my daughter, but she immediately made calls to the Bureau of Immigration,” said the governor.
Legarda recently disclosed Cristina is her spokesperson for the Visayas.
One Cebu’s choices for the Senate included three candidates from Lakas-Kampi, three from Nacionalista, two from Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino, and one each from the Liberal Party, Nationalist People’s Coalition and the Grand Alliance for Democracy.
Absent during the initial announcement of Teodoro and Legarda as One Cebu’s top two choices were Deputy Speaker Pablo Garcia, Rep. Pablo John Garcia and Rep. Benhur Salimbangon.
Teodoro again thanked One Cebu for its endorsement, first revealed in November last year.
“It is a trust that I shall repay to the best of my abilities and in trying not only to bring development to the Province of Cebu, to include the City of Mandaue, but to bring genuine principled unity to our country, which it badly needs now,” Teodoro said.
He said the people don’t need to suffer from the lack of quality education or health care as a result of “too much politics.”
Senate aspirant Gilbert Remulla of the Nacionalista Party (NP) said One Cebu’s endorsement of a mixed ticket “is a good example of how we can start with unity. Cebu is showing the way in many things, in development, in tourism and in politics.”
“I am just so incredibly lucky to be here. Governor Gwen has palabra de honor and it is my great honor to be part of this line-up,” said Adel Tamano, also of the NP.
Reelectionist Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile of the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino praised One Cebu for its choices.
“While we belong to different political groups, we are supposed to work together, whatever our political affiliations may be, not for ourselves, but to serve the people,” said Enrile.