THE Garcias of the One Cebu Party clarified on Saturday, November 27, 2021, that they have not chosen a presidential and vice presidential candidate yet, even as a party member declared support for former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and his runningmate Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.

While Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and Deputy Speaker (Cebu, 3rd) Pablo John Garcia have not announced yet whom they will endorse, the governor’s daughter, Liloan Mayor Christina Garcia-Frasco, declared support for Marcos and Carpio’s candidacy on Saturday, Nov. 27.

Marcos and Carpio were at the Capitol for the Governor’s Night of the League of the Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) on Friday, Nov. 26, where they openly wooed Garcia.

The governor said she has not decided yet who among the candidates she will support, saying it was too early to do so.

Marcos jokingly said in his speech at the Capitol that he was there with Carpio to talk sincerely with the governor.

“Inaantay namin ang matamis mong oo (We are waiting for your sweet yes),” Marcos Jr. said.

“That’s the very first time na nililigawan ako (that I’ve been courted) in public,” Garcia later told the reporters.

She said One Cebu is not ready to make a decision on the national candidates as they do not want to make the same mistake they made in previous elections, when a premature decision caused friction in the party and the family.

“At that time, there had not been enough consultation, first and foremost among the family,” Garcia said.

Garcia had mentioned earlier that her brother Pablo John was considering endorsing Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, while her son-in-law, Cebu Fifth District Rep. Duke Frasco, was sympathetic to Marcos Jr.

Mayor Frasco was also the spokesperson of Carpio.

“If we agree as a family, then we will be an even stronger political party,” Garcia added.

A day after Marcos and Carpio wooed the governor at the Capitol, Mayor Frasco formally took her oath as a member of Lakas-CMD, Carpio’s party.

Carpio, who is currently Lakas chairperson, administered her oath.

In a video posted online, Mayor Frasco said she and her husband, Rep. Frasco, will be supporting Marcos’ and Carpio’s candidacy.

“No other presidential candidate possesses the competence and experience as Bongbong Marcos. His proven track record in the executive, legislature and administrative experience has prepared him for the most difficult job in our country,” Mayor Frasco said.

She clarified, though, that her declaration of support Marcos was made in her capacity as president of the LMP Cebu, whose membership consists of 44 Municipalities.

“I fully respect the process of One Cebu Party, which has yet to give its endorsement to a Presidential candidate. With deference to the leadership of One Cebu, my hope is that the BBM-Sara Uniteam would be given serious consideration,” she said in a text message.

But in a Facebook post, the mayor’s uncle, Pablo John, said One Cebu and its allies among Cebu mayors have not endorsed any candidate for president and vice president yet.

“As far as One Cebu and allied mayors are concerned, NO endorsement has been given to ANY candidate,” the Deputy Speaker said in a statement he posted on Saturday, Nov. 27.

In his previous posts, Pablo John also hinted that he will not be supporting Marcos’ candidacy, using the hashtag #NeverAgain, which has been widely used online to condemn the administration of Bongbong’s father, the former dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr.

It was the second visit of Marcos and Carpio in Cebu to court local leaders since they filed their certificates of candidacy.

Though Carpio has already secured the endorsement of Partido Barug of Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, Marcos Jr. has not yet gotten any support from any major political group in Cebu.

Marcos Jr. is hoping to secure the endorsement of one of Cebu’s political parties to prevent a possible upset in 2022, like what happened when he ran for vice president against incumbent Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo. (JKV, IRT)