ONE Cebu revealed Sunday its candidates for governor and vice governor, lawyer Winston Garcia and former congresswoman Nerissa Soon, who both served in the Cebu Provincial Board’s (PB) 1992-1995 batch.
Already, some party members are calling the tandem “WinNer.”
Among the things confirmed in the party’s general assembly at the New White Gold House yesterday were: (1) that at least six Garcias are running for office in the May 9, 2016 elections; and (2) that the party has yet to confirm its candidate for the Lower House seats in the first, fifth and sixth districts.
Atty. Garcia also said they have not decided whom they will support for president and vice president, but party officials have talked with officials from the Nationalist People’s Coalition, Nacionalista Party and Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan or PDP-Laban.
“We can run our campaign without a national party,” he said.
Garcia and Soon both served in the PB about 23 years ago. After that, Garcia focused on his career in the corporate world and was appointed in 2001 as a director of San Miguel Corp. He served as president and general manager of the Government Service Insurance System in the Arroyo administration.
Soon, a doctor, served additional terms in the PB, as well as Congress, representing the sixth district.
“I have been away from politics for 20 years now,” Garcia said. “Although my family has been in politics for three decades, I have never been the politician in the family...I stand before you today not because of my family and certainly not because I am the son or brother of a former governor. I am here because I have a vision for Cebu.”
He is proposing several public-private partnership projects, including reclamations for a tourism zone in Cordova, a new international port in Consolacion or Liloan, and a light industrial zone in Carcar City.
He said that the party chose Soon as his running mate, because she can help him with programs on public health, including free hospitalization in government hospitals.
The assembly began with a mass and featured a speech on the history of One Cebu, by Representative Gwendolyn Garcia (Cebu Province, third district).
Before she introduced Winston as the party’s standard bearer, the former three-term governor also mentioned the projects and programs that she started but were discontinued by the current administration, including the One Cebu Expo and Cebu International Convention Center.
“A different administration, a different person with a different belief took over the Capitol. But now, I ask you, has Cebu prospered? Can you really say that there is a new leadership?,” the congresswoman said.
She introduced Winston as the “person who will bring Cebu to greater heights of progress and economic prosperity.”
In the same event, One Cebu also announced their candidates. Congresswoman Garcia will seek reelection, while former congressman Pablo John Garcia will run for congressman in the new seventh district.
In Liloan, Gwen’s daughter, lawyer Christina Garcia-Frasco, will run for mayor while her husband, incumbent Mayor Vincent Franco “Duke” Frasco, will run for vice mayor.
Suspended Dumanjug Mayor Nelson Garcia will seek reelection while his brother, former Barili vice mayor Marlon Garcia, will again run for mayor.
Their other candidates for Congress will be former Boljoon mayor Teresita Celis for the second district and Representative Benhur Salimbangon, who will seek reelection in the fourth district.
For the Provincial Board (PB), radioman Cesar Albor will run in the first district while Cari Kintanar and Andrade Alcantara will run in the second district.
Although both of them were not present Sunday, incumbent PB Members Alex Binghay and Thadeo Ouano, a Liberal Party (LP) member, were endorsed by the party for reelection in the third and sixth districts, respectively.
Incumbent PB Member Sun Shimura and Chad Escario will represent the fourth district, while Salvador Saromenes and Fema Duterte will serve as candidates in the seventh district.
Spotted in the event was Mandaue City Councilor Emmarie Ouano-Dizon, who will run for mayor under One Cebu, with Councilor Beethoven Andaya as her running mate.
Among those who will run for Mandaue City councilor under One Cebu are reelectionist Councilor Benjamin Basiga and three incumbent barangay captains.
Dizon and other candidates under her local party Lolypop sa Masa will file their certificate of candidacy (COC) on Wednesday.
Dizon said that although she has chosen One Cebu as the local party to support, she is still a member of the Liberal Party (LP).
Dizon, Andaya and Basiga ran and won in the 2013 elections under LP.
Sought for reaction, Mayor Jonas Cortes said the three councilors have yet to talk with him about leaving the party.
Cortes chairs the LP chapter in the city.
The other candidates for councilor under “Lolypop sa Masa” are Jagobiao Barangay Captain Editha Monteza, Tipolo Barangay Captain Procopio Villanueva, Looc Barangay Captain Sol Cabahug, Emil Rosal, Erwin Heyrosa, Elmer Cabahug, Joy Ouano, Yong Mendoza and Wading Monsanto.
The party and their supporters will hear a mass at the National Shrine of St. Joseph at 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday before proceeding to the Commission on Elections around 9:30 a.m.
Cortes and Representative Gabriel Luis Quisumbing (Cebu Province, sixth district) have yet to announce the positions they will run for in the May 2016 elections.
But in a few gatherings, partymates have hinted about Quisumbing running for mayor in Mandaue City and Cortes running for congressman. Cortes is on his third and last term as mayor.