Governor to partymates: Unite for Mar

(The Freeman) - August 26, 2015 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III yesterday said all Liberal Party members need to “unite” for the sake of standard bearer Mar Roxas.

That is why local members of the ruling LP may seek intervention from their national leaders to resolve the issues concerning partymates vying for the same position in the 2016 elections.

In particular, Cebu Provincial Board Member Raul “Yayoy” Alcoseba yesterday expressed his concern over Alayon Party members who have allied themselves with LP, as their presence could displace those who stuck it out with LP and are full-fledged candidates of the party.

 “We were concerned. I told the Secretary (Mar Roxas), (these LP mayors) supported Davide in 2010 and in 2013. These are the people who also who campaigned hard for him in the first district. Now in 2016, these LPs [are] running for positions in the first district (against Alayon candidates),” said Alcoseba in a press conference at his office in the Provincial Legislative Building yesterday.

He said that when President Benigno Aquino III and Roxas were here last Monday, Alayon mayors and first district Representative Gerald Anthony “Samsam” Gullas sat next to the bigwigs of LP, while the diehard LP mayors from the same district were not even allowed to be seated closer to them.

“During the President’s visit, naay mga mayor sa LP wa kasaka (sa stage)…. Didto si Gullas. Ang among mga mayor and leaders sa first district (were not allowed),” he lamented.

Alcoseba said he raised this concern with Roxas during their dinner Monday night and was told he would talk to them about it on his next visit to Cebu.

 “Alayon is not an LP,” Alcoseba said, adding that the Alayon mayors only joined them to support Roxas and Davide III next year.

Alayon, a local party which has four of the six mayors in the first district, just recently allied with LP.

Davide, though, said unity is key, and they all should unite for Roxas’ candidacy.

“At this point, we need to unite…to give him (Roxas) the maximum advantage in Cebu,” he told reporters also yesterday.

He admitted that there is an issue on LP members’ having their own factions in some local government units in the province, which he said he, as chairman of the party in Cebu, should address soon.

The FREEMAN learned that there are towns which may have two LP mayors running against one another, which Davide said will be part of the concern they will resolve soon.

Talisay City, for example, has both LMP members City Mayor Johnny De los Reyes and Vice Mayor Romeo Villarante, signifying their intent to run for mayor of the city in next year’s elections.

“There are some certain issues we need to resolve. We’ll get there,” he said, adding that they are set to hold a meeting with partymates and “allies” on this matter.

“We (party) are planning to hold a general meeting with our partymates and allies to resolve (issues in) some towns and cities. We will talk with our leaders here so we can really find solution… At this point, we need to unite to give him (Roxas) the maximum advantage in Cebu,” the governor said.

Davide also said that Alayon Party coalescing with LP is another thing they need to smoothen out, as this means Alayon’s candidates may be running with LPs very own bets, which was what Alcoseba expressed.

“In light with the recent developments, we will talk to partymates there para we can really find a solution,” Davide said, adding that they must straighten things out to “maximize” the Cebu vote for Roxas.

 “We want him to win here in Cebu. We want to deliver for him,” he added.

He said it is also possible that Alayon and LP’s local team will unite, but if not, considering that Alayon is an independent local party with its own people, the candidates can run against one another as long as they support only Roxas for president.

Davide said he also heard that Roxas picked Gullas, who is an Alayon member, as LP’s chairman in the first district. This, he said, would benefit Roxas as Alayon controls the district.

Alcoseba, though, wondered what would happen to the original LP candidates if LP allows Alayon candidates to join the group.

 “We cannot leave these people (die-hard LP candidates running against Alayon candidates). They campaigned for you,” he said, quoting Roxas, who reportedly replied that he would not leave them behind.

Alcoseba said these mayors from the first district and two board members, including himself, helped Davide win in the 2010 and the 2013 elections, which is why he could not accept that they would be left out just because Alayon is joining them.

Alcoseba, though, said that as long as LP would field them, he was sure they would still win.

He cited the results of the 2013 elections, where Davide and Vice Governor Agnes Magpale won in Talisay City, Minglanilla and Carcar City even if these were bailiwicks of Alayon, which at that time supported One Cebu’s gubernatorial candidates.

“Davide won even if first district was Alayon… We don’t know the mayors. It’s the people’s voice,” Alcoseba said.

 He agreed that what was important is that “Roxas should come out with a big margin in the first district” and that the coalition with Alayon is only for Roxas to get the Cebu vote.

Alcoseba said that as long as it is that way and Gullas, being head of LP for the first district, won’t dictate on them, the original LP candidates can easily win in the elections, with or without the support of Alayon.

“With respect to the congressman (Gullas), di siya kabuot nako. Langsad ko’g congressman hinuon,” he joked.

San Fernando Mayor Antonio Canoy has already expressed his willingness to run as congressman in the first district, but the recent development (Gullas as LP’s first district head) has left him undecided.

 Meanwhile, Alcoseba, a first-term board member, said he is also open to run as mayor in Carcar City, an Alayon bailiwick, but only if he is sure of his chances.

“I thought of it seriously. (I) talked to the governor when he asked me about it. (I told him) og molansar ko basi’g mapareha kong Canoy, ma-floating ko. But Vice Governor (Magpale) said “Ika’y kandidato sa LP,” he said.

“Anyway, ang paglansar sayon, ang pagdaug maoy kinalisoran. Daghan pang i-consider. Naa pay until October 16 to decide,” he added. – (FREEMAN)

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