NEOPHYTE Dumanjug Mayor Nelson Garcia was voted the new president of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP)- Cebu Chapter in an uncontested election held at the Provincial Capitol yesterday.
The LMP is dominated by the One Cebu Party headed by Nelson?s elder sister, Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia.
Nelson vowed to help towns resolve their problems by acting as ?bridge? between them and the governor as well as with the congressmen in their districts, in particular his father Rep. Pablo Garcia of 2nd district, and Rep. Pablo John of the 3rd district.
The election of the mayor?s league was held at the Capitol Conference Hall.
Nelson said the mayors were united in their stance to elect a common candidate.
A total of 36 out of the 44 town mayors in Cebu province joined in the election.
Nelson, 50, is a 1980 graduate of business management at the University of San Carlos in Cebu City. He worked for Far East Bank and Trust Company from 1980 to 1984 and later served as legislative staff for his father before leaving for the United States.
He returned to the country in 1990 and held various businesses until he was elected Dumanjug town mayor last May.
The Liberal Party, whose members attended the LMP elections, held a ?consultative assembly? at the Casino Español in the morning to choose their candidates for the Philippine Councilor's League (PCL) in Cebu. s.
LP's PCL candidates will be led by Talisay City Councilor Romeo Villarante who would run for president.
Villarante said it would be an uphill battle for him against One Cebu led by Danao City Councilor Carmen Remedios Ivy Durano-Meca.
The PCL elections, whose president will sit as ex-officio member of the Provincial Board, will be held on Aug. 4.
After holding a meeting at the Governor's Office, the mayors then proceeded to the Conference Hall for the LMP meeting presided by Liloan Mayor Duke Frasco, the incumbent LMP Cebu vice president for external affairs.
Former LMP President and Dumanjug Mayor Cesar Baricuatro did not attend the meeting.
Alegria Mayor Emilita Guisadio nominated Nelson and 15 other mayors for the various 15 posts for the LMP Cebu Chapter. After no one else made a nomination, Ronda Mayor Mariano Blanco moved to close the nominations which declared Nelson and his slate as automatic winners.
The town mayors who were not able to attend the meeting were Medellin Mayor Ricardo Ramirez (One Cebu), Santa Fe Mayor Jennifer Illustrisimo (LP), Bantayan Mayor Ian Escario (One Cebu), Carmen Mayor Gerard Villamor (Bakud Party) San Fransisco Mayor Aly Arquillano (Bakud Party), Cordova Mayor Adelino Sitoy (One Cebu), and Catmon Mayor Dan Jusay (Bakud).
City mayors are not members of LMP.
On the other hand, LP mayors who participated in the elections include Consolacion Mayor Teresa Alegado, Pinamungajan Mayor Geraldine Yapha, Tuburan Mayor Democrito Diamante, and San Fernando Mayor Antonio Canoy.
After the LMP elections, Gwen then joined the mayors at the conference hall and congratulated them.
In the meantime, the same mayors who voted for Nelson as their LMP president denied reports that some of them were planning to join the LP.
?That has no basis. The results of the elections was a proof that we are united. As far as One Cebu is concerned, we are not leaving the party,? said Alegria Mayor Guisadio.
Sogod Mayor Lissa Marie Durano of Bakud Party and an ally of One Cebu said they would also continue to support the governor.
But during the LP consultative assembly at the Casino Español, some town councilors who ran under One Cebu/Lakas-KAMPI CMD officially declared their allegiance to the LP.
Among them were Moalboal Councilors Raymond Mendoza and Hamabar Mendoza who said the governor's party had dropped them prior to the polls.
Vice Gov. Greg Sanchez had said there would be more councilors and mayors who will be joining the LP. He said they would come from the towns of Malabuyoc, Barili, and Dalaguete.