The gubernatorial election

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Monday, April 1, 2013

NEXT to Tommy Osmeña versus Mike Rama for Cebu City mayor, the most talked about rivalry in Cebu in the coming elections is the one between PJ Garcia and Junjun Davide for Cebu governor. Many say this is going to be a close one.

In 2010, when Davide ran for the same office for the first time, he lost to Garcia’s sister Gwen by almost 100,000 votes. Given that huge disparity, you wonder whether the supposed close fight is actually a case of misplaced optimism on the part of the Davide camp.

Davide’s friends are quick to point out, however, the presence of two factors that could work for Davide this time. One is that the Liberal Party (LP) is now the administration party and its titular head, President Aquino, has reportedly promised full support for Davide’s candidacy. There are five provinces in the country where he does not want to see the LP bet lose, P-Noy was said to have told Davide in Danao City last year. Cebu heads that list.


The other is the decision of the Duranos to ditch their alliance with the Garcias and cast their lot with the LP. Make that, for the sake of accuracy, one side, Nito’s, of the Durano clan because another side, that of Boy’s and Don’s, is supporting PJ.

Why is the support of the Duranos perceived to be crucial to the gubernatorial elections?

In 2010, Junjun won in two of the province’s six districts: the first and the sixth by a combined 39,897 votes. That margin was, however, completely wiped out by Gwen’s margin of 83,849 in the Durano-controlled fifth district alone.

In the island of Camotes, Gwen’s margin was 23,706, with San Francisco posting the highest lead at 9,476, followed by Poro (7,577), Tudela (3,335) and Pilar, 3,318. When you consider that the four towns had a combined voting population of less than 50,000, you can see how bad the Davide rout was there.

In fact, Davide failed to win a single town in the fifth, losing in Borbon (3,503), Sogod (3,222), Catmon (4,152), Carmen (11,915), Compostela (10,687), Liloan (7,681) and Danao City (18,983).

The LP is hoping that with Nito Durano on board, they can record a similar juggernaut on May 13. But as PJ has pointed out after a recent visit to Camotes Island, they are not as disorganized as the LP was in 2010. There’s a ring of truth to that claim; One Cebu is fielding a complete slate in all the island’s four towns this year unlike the LP three years ago which did not have any candidate for mayor and vice mayor in many places.

The likely scenario is that even if Davide carries the fifth, his lead will not be anywhere near 83,000. That means he has to keep his winning record intact in the first and the sixth while improving his numbers in the other districts for him to have a realistic chance of ending the Garcias’ reign in the province.

Replicating his 2010 feat in the sixth district may be comparatively easier because the mayors of Mandaue, Consolacion and Cordova are his party-mates. But he has a huge problem in the first because the Garcias have secured Cong. Eddie Gullas’s firm commitment to work for PJ’s victory.

He must also take care of his own backyard. In his first try, Junjun did win in his hometown of Argao by 16,491 votes but still sported a 13,325 deficit in the entire second district as he won only in three other towns, out of 15.

And while he can leave to the Martinezes the fourth district, where he lost by only 232 votes, Junjun has to pay special attention to the third where he got clobbered in 2010 by a 38,732 margin. It does not make his work easier that his opponent is the district’s sitting congressman.


Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 02, 2013.


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