Gov. Gwen Garcia yesterday promised to deliver Cebu?s potential 1 million votes for presidential candidate Gilberto Teodoro Jr., closing ranks with the administration.
Her decision was announced in a convention of her three-year-old party One Cebu, which gave her blanket authority to name its officers with her father Pablo as the president emeritus.
?We can prove once again that Cebu can and will spell the difference. We are confident of our strength because we have the better product,? she said.
What she didn't declare was who would be her running mate after Vice Gov. Gregorio Sanchez Jr. jumped ship and filed his reelection bid under the Liberal Party.
Neither did she proclaim any local candidates, a decision that has been postponed.
The ?provincial slate will be unveiled before 11:59 of Dec. 1st, to keep you guessing,? Garcia told the audience in a light vein.
She told Cebu Daily News later ?there were still some concerns in the different district which they wanted to iron out? and thatshe wanted to focus on the presidential candidate.
Her father, Pablo, was among six congressional bets endorsed by One Cebu with large banners, on-stage appearances, and the hoopla of a convention complete with balloons and t-shirts with the One Cebu logo.
Over 3,000 people attended the mass oath-taking, Holy Mass, and program at the Cebu International Convention Center.
Teodoro's hand was raised by the governor to the applause of the crowd. He said he would repay the Cebuanos' generosity when he wins.
?The endorsement by One Cebu is extremely valuable to me. I need to work hard. I need to work harder throughout the country so that the endorsement of One Cebu will not be wasted,? he said.
?I shall work towards paying this debt of gratitude in a way which is relevant with dignity, with honor and which will uphold the number 1 of One Cebu,? he said in an acceptance speech.
No similar party endorsement was made for Edu Manzano, Lakas-Kampi CMD candidate for vice president, who showed up. (See related story).
The Ouano family isn't keen on letting Thadeo Ouano, former Mandaue city mayor, run for vice governor, said the clan's patriarch Alfredo ?Pedong? Ouano.
He confirmed that Garcia invited his son to be her running mate.
But without a clear ?yes?, a proclamation had to be postponed.
?Di gusto si Teddy. Ang pamilya dili pud ganahan kay dako ang teritoryo. Bisan ug board member lang unta (Teddy isn't in favor. The family doesn't want it either because the territory is too big. Maybe the position of provincial board member for now would be best),? said Alfredo at the convention.
?Pero ambot lagi makabalibad ba si Teddy (But I don't know if Teddy can say no).?
Another potential candidate being discussed is third term Boljoon town mayor Deogenes Derama.
Thadeo said he already resigned on Nov. 23 from the Nacionalista Party (NP) of Sen.Manuel Villar.
?Mag agad ra ko ni governor kung unsay iyang gusto basta ma sustain lang ang unity sa grupo. (I will rely on the governor's decision as long as the group's unity is maintained.) For the province of Cebu, I will do it,? he said.
A representative of Rep. Eduardo Gullas (1st district) of the Alayon party and Danao City Mayor Ramon ?Nito? Durano of the Barug Alang sa Kauswagan ug Demokrasya (Bakud) party of Danao showed up to express support.
Rep. Pablo John Garcia (1st district), presided over the convention as secretary general of One Cebu. He said the Comelec approved its application as a political party in a decision promulgated on Nov. 17.
Provincial Board Member Victor Maambong was the party presiding officer. PB Member Peter John Calderon nominated Governor Garcia as One Cebu president, a choice approved by members at large. She was given full authority to name other One Cebu officers.
Rep. Benhur Salimbangon was named party vice president, the post vacated by Vice Gov. Sanchez.
Capitol consultant Manolette Dinsay was named party treasurer and Capitol spokesman Rory Jon Sepulveda was named party spokesman. The governor's father, Pablo, was named president emeritus.
District chairmanships where given to PB Member Julian Daan (1st district), PB Peter John Calderon (2nd district), PB Member Ian Zambo (3rd district), PB Member Joven Mondigo Jr. (4th district), Liloan Mayor Duke Frasco (5th district) and Thadeo Ouano (6th district).
One Cebu's Council of Elders includes businessman Norberto Quisumbing Jr, Mayor Alfredo Ouano, former congressman Tito Calderon and Joven Mondigo Sr. /with Correspondent Jhunnex Napallacan
One Cebu supports for congress:
1st district - Eduardo Gullas
2nd district - Pablo Garcia
3rd district - Pablo John Garcia
4th district - Benhur Salimbangon
5th district - Red Durano
6th district - Luigi Quisumbing