What LP march?
OFF TANGENT - Aven Piramide () - January 15, 2012 - 12:00am

I must have misinterpreted the recent movements of pieces on the political chessboard of Cebu province. This was the message a friend of mine (I will identify him as Caller C) delivered when he called me after he read my article last Thursday. I wrote about the LP march towards Capitol. Caller C said if there would be such a march, it would be scuttled on its tracks long before getting near the portals of the seat of the provincial government.

His observation sounded logical. The Liberal Party must realize that Atty. Hilario Davide III is not the strongest bet available for governor. The result of the 2010 elections should be considered because it demonstrated an ugly political fact. Atty. Davide III lost in that contest. He could have won it because he was carried by the Cory Magic. Rather than Atty. Davide III getting the votes for then senator and now His Excellency President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III, the reverse was true. It was the LP standard bearer who was earning votes for the gubernatorial bet, not the other way around. Yet, the invincibility of Pnoy could not stop the re-election of Her Honor Cebu Provincial Governor Gwendolyn F. Garcia.

Caller C claims that in 2013, Atty. Davide III will still have no bailiwick to speak of. This is his Achilles heel. Because of this weakness, he will just have to rely upon the strength of acknowledged political pillars. This explains why the LP is relentlessly courting the honorable Vice Governor, Agnes Magpale to be his running mate. The vice governor and her clansmen control the fifth district like no other. Her support is very important.

In the first district, there is something Caller C saw that I missed. The honorable Congressman Eduardo R. Gullas, in whose law school I have just returned to teaching Political Law, did not affix his signature to the Impeachment Articles against Chief Justice Renato Corona. Rep. Gullas explained that he did not sign the impeachment papers because he had not read the same, a correct stance, from the purview of Political Law. More importantly to Caller C, the lawmaker’s refusal to join the mob indicated that he was not, at all times, in sync with the president.

The positions of Cong. Gullas, and that of the governor’s congressman-father and congressman-brother, in not signing the impeachment articles, were identical. It must not be because they are all brilliant lawyer-lawmakers but because they must also share kindred political preferences, Caller C insisted.

His thought on the third district. The focal political points there are Toledo City and Balamban where the Espinosa’s and the Binghay’s reign seemingly uncontested. These families are well loved by their constituents that they literally dictate the results of any election in their areas. I am told that today, the Espinosa’s and the Binghay’s are Gov. Garcia’s friends, and unless an unlikely relational aberration bursts, their alliance will extend beyond 2013.

Finally, Caller C brought into the equation, the shadow cast by the honorable vice President of the Republic, Jejomar Binay. He recalled that shortly after the late Corazon C. Aquino, assumed the presidency of our republic, she wanted to have control of all local government officials. Her marching order seemed to be to rid the government of all leaders who were, in whatever manner, associated with the regime of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos.

Cory, appointed her trusted man Aquilino Pimentel, later a senator, to cleanse the ranks of local officials. While the work was most burdensome, it had to be accomplished quickly. Considering that most of the Pre-EDSA I officials towed the line of Pres. Marcos, Pimentel had to have them removed from office. In a blur, he picked from the roster of his party members and those who would want to wear his party’s coat. Lo and behold, the PDP Laban became a party of choice of many an officer in charge

Caller C opines that Vice Pres. Binay, now the highest PDP Laban official, benefited from the Pimental act. Part of his surprising victory in 2010 should be credited to remaining PDP Laban stalwarts. My friend ended our talk with an ominous question: Did not the body language of Gov. Garcia and VP Binay show, in a recent Toledo City activity, a kind of unity that does not bode well for LP?

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