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Opinion

Cebuano presidential and VP candidates who lost  

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez - The Freeman

Bohol had President Carlos P. Garcia. Capiz had Manuel A Roxas. Davao has Rodrigo Duterte. Cebu has none at all. To be frank about it, no Cebuano since 1898 in the Tejeros Convention when General Emilio Aguinaldo won over Andres Bonifacio, and since 1935, when Manuel L. Quezon defeated Emilio Aguinaldo and Gregorio Aglipay ever won the Philippine presidency.

The truth of the matter was that Don Sergio Osmeña was never elected president. He was elected vice president in 1935 and 1941. He took over the presidency when Quezon died in 1944. But when he ran for president in 1946, he was beaten by Manuel Roxas. Bohol has a better record than Cebu, with Carlos P. Garcia elected as president in 1957. Ilocos Norte had Ferdinand Marcos Sr., Ilocos Sur had Elpidio Quirino, Zambales had Magsaysay, Capiz had Roxas, Davao has Duterte. The best record belongs to Pampanga and Tarlac with two presidents each: Diosdado and Gloria Macapagal of Pampanga, and Corazon and PNoy of Tarlac. Cebu tried a number of times and sadly failed.

In 1961, Serging Osmeña ran for vice president as an independent. He got second place, with 2,190,424 votes (34.37%). The winner was Emmanuel Pelaez, Liberal Party, who garnered 2,394,400 (37.57%). Gil Puyat of the Nacionalista Party was third with 1,787,987 (28.06%). In 1969, Serging Osmeña was chosen as the LP's standard bearer against NP's incumbent president, Ferdinand Marcos Sr. Marcos got 5,017,343 or 62.24%. Osmeña only got 3,043,122 or 37.75%. In Cebu Marcos used the NP congressmen to cause the loss of Serging in his own province. The Marcos loyalists led by Ramon Durano of old 1st District, Isidro Kintanar of the fourth, Manuel Zosa of the sixth, and Tereso Dumon of the seventh all did everything to embarrass Serging. And they succeeded.

In 1998, Lito Osmeña of Promdi, another grandson of Don Sergio, ran for president. He got fourth place with only 3,720,212 or 12.44%. The winner was Erap, LMMP, 39.86% followed by De Venecia, Lakas-NUCD, 15.87%, and Raul Roco, Aksyon Demokratiko, 13.83%. At least Lito got more votes than LP's Alfredo Lim, Reforma's Renato de Villa, PRP's Miriam Santiago, and Juan Ponce Enrile, independent. In that same election, Lito's cousin, Serge, ran for vice president under Lim's LP. He also got fourth place with 2,351,462 votes or 9.2%. The winner was GMA with 49.56% followed by Ed Angara with 22.11% and Oca Orbos with 13%. Why the two Osmeñas ran under different parties is beyond my comprehension. Two grandsons of Don Sergio each going his way is beyond my narrow mind to understand.

In 1992, Marcelo Fernan ran for vice president with Ramon Mitra as presidential bet. He got second place with 4,438,494 votes (21.74%). By the way, Mitra, who was jilted by Cory in favor of FVR, had a worse performance. He was fourth placer with only 3,316,661 votes. FVR won the presidency and Erap won as vice president. The problem with Fernan was that while he was running for vice president, Lito Osmeña, a fellow Cebuano, also vied for the same position as teammate of FVR. Lito was third, getting less votes than Fernan; only 3,362,487. Combining the votes of Fernan and Lito, they could have beaten Erap, had they been united. This is the tragedy of Cebuanos; wrong timing and lack of Cebuano unity. Too much ambition, too little foresight.

In 1949, Manuel Briones, NP, ran as vice presidential candidate with Batangas' Jose P. Laurel as presidential candidate against LP's Elpidio Quirino for president and Fernando Lopez of Iloilo for vice president. Both Laurel and Briones lost to Quirino and Lopez. And so, by this time, Cebuanos should learn from the lessons of history or be condemned to repeat them. Do we have a future president in the noble and venerable province of Lapu-Lapu and Don Sergio? Perhaps not in our lifetime.

ELECTION

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