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Gibo to mend political fences in Cebu

- Jess Diaz () - March 26, 2010 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Lakas-Kampi standard-bearer Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro Jr. is flying to Cebu today in an apparent attempt to mend political fences in the wake of reports that his allies there have dropped him in favor of another candidate.

“He will be going there precisely to meet with Gov. Gwen Garcia and other political leaders,” Joel Lacsamana, deputy spokesman for Teodoro, told the Serye Café news forum in Quezon City.

“We are sure that Gov. Garcia is still with us and that our other allies have not jumped ship,” he said.

Lacsamana said Cebu is important to any candidate since it has more than one million voters.

Garcia’s father, former governor and now Rep. Pablo Garcia (second district), his son Pablo John, also an incumbent congressman (third district), and other Cebu lawmakers who were supporting Teodoro have reportedly shifted their support to Sen. Manuel Villar of the Nacionalista Party.

Villar met with them behind closed doors at a Cebu hotel on Wednesday. They were all tightlipped after the meeting, which was also attended by another Garcia son, Winston, the president and general manager of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).

Other lawmakers who have reportedly shifted alliances were Eduardo Gullas (first district), Benhur Salimbangon (fourth district) and Nerissa Soon-Ruiz (sixth district).

Among Cebu congressmen, it is only outgoing Rep. Raul del Mar of Cebu City’s first district who is supporting the candidacy of Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III of the Liberal Party.

Rep. Antonio Cuenco of the second district, who is on his third and last term like Del Mar, earlier said he, too, was inclined to support Aquino.

Late last year, Cuenco revealed that based on a survey he personally conducted among his colleagues in the House of Representatives, about half of them would go for Aquino.

In 2004, when Rep. Pablo Garcia was governor, Cebu gave President Arroyo a one-million vote lead over her closest opponent, the late popular actor Fernando Poe Jr.

The Garcias belong to the ruling Lakas-Kampi.

Lacsamana said most local officials belonging to the administration party remain loyal to Teodoro.

In fact, Lacsamana said more than 50 provincial governors are supporting Teodoro’s candidacy.

“It is these local officials, who are starting their campaign tomorrow, who we think will catapult our candidate to the presidency,” he said.    – With Jaime Laude

AMONG CEBU ANTONIO CUENCO AQUINO BENHUR SALIMBANGON CEBU DEL MAR DISTRICT GARCIA LACSAMANA PABLO GARCIA TEODORO
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