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Monday, April 22, 2013

AS AN observer of the dynamics of local elections for the past many decades, my safe prediction is that Junjun Davide and Agnes Magpale will win in this mid-year elections. Here are my reasons:

1) Historically, the candidates of the party in power or Malacanang-backed local candidates are the ones who win the local contests in Cebu or elsewhere in the country.

In was only in 1971 when the then opposition Liberal Party led by Gov. Osmundo G. Rama, with the support of Serging Osmeña, won over the Marcos-backed candidates for the provincial posts.


It was understandable because of the popular anger against the Marcos regime triggered by the Plaza Miranda bombing on Aug. 21, 1971 that almost wiped out the entire LP leadership.

The post-Edsa elections clearly support this theory.

When Fidel V. Ramos became president, his candidate for governor of Cebu, Pablo P. Garcia, easily won the governorship in the l995 elections.

As GMA’s candidate in the 2004, 2007 and 2010 elections, Gwendolyn Garcia won three times in a row the gubernatorial contest.

2) Since the 1998 elections when the Garcias were in complete control of the province, they have been using the Capitol as their campaign headquarters in every election, having the vast provincial resources, provincial funds and vehicles in the guise of official functions to further their political interests.

With the current suspension of Gwendolyn Garcia as governor, the Garcia clan’s control of Capitol resources has been effectively clipped, thus causing material and psychological damage and disadvantage to the Garcias and their supporters.

3) When Davide ran for governor in 2010, he was virtually unknown to provincial voters supported by a then moribund Liberal Party with a few municipal officials, with not a single congressman, and propelled only by an army of idealistic Noy-Mar volunteers.

Today, Gwen Garcia has already lost Rep. Luigi Quisumbing of the 6th district and the powerful family of Ramonito Durano of the 5th district, which gave her a whooping majority of 87,000 votes against Junjun Davide in the 2010 election.

Aside from losing two congressional strongholds, the Garcias have also been abandoned by several mayors, vice-mayors, councilors and barangay captains in the 2nd, 5th, and 6th districts.

4) There are no damaging issues against Davide and Magpale. On the contrary, the Garcias (Gwendolyn and Pablo John) are facing serious charges of corruption and official wrongdoings.

The people cannot forget the notorious Balili lot deal. She is also facing a complaint before the Ombudsman for her role in the construction of the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC) that many believe is highly overpriced.

Gwen’s brother Pablo John, One Cebu’s gubernatorial bet, is now a subject of probe by the Ombudsman for his expensive mansion in Guadalupe and questionable entries in his SALN regarding its true value.

5) Another important factor is the endorsement of President Noynoy Aquino.

The endorsement of the Davide-Magpale team by a highly popular and credible President can help assure the victory of the two LP bets for the top provincial posts.

A clash between the politics of patronage and the politics of principle now looms in the horizon.

The coming May 13, 2013 election is surely a litmus test of the political maturity of the Cebuanos.—Democrito C. Barcenas, Spokesperson, Liberal Party, Cebu Province

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 23, 2013.


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