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Why Cebu?

First Posted 10:36:00 10/26/2009

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The ruling Lakas-Kampi party has chosen Cebu as the venue of its national convention next month.

The decision appears prompted by political strategy especially that Cebu delivered 1.1 million votes that sealed the victory of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in the 2004 presidential elections against popular actor Fernando Poe Jr.

There may be underlying reasons that will be known on Nov. 12 when the administration party launches the presidential bid of Defense Secretary Gilbert ?Gibo? Teodoro.

Tongues of political pundits won?t stop wagging. They continue to believe Lakas-Kampi stalwarts will make an important announcement hinged on the decision to hold the national convention in Cebu.

No solid confirmations are available.

Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and Tourism Secretary Joseph ?Ace? Durano were reportedly asked, among several other ?vice presidentiables? to be Teodoro?s running mate after Sen. Loren Legarda, the prime choice, remained unavailable. Both Cebuanos reportedly turned down the feelers.

Garcia says she is bent on seeking a third term as Cebu governor while Durano hasn?t made up his mind whether to run for governor or try his luck in the senatorial race.

Lakas-Kampi has also considered actors Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos and Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr. as Teodoro?s running mate.

But wouldn?t it be proper to hold the national convention in their Luzon bailiwicks ? Batangas province for Santos or Cavite for Revilla ? to allow their supporters to revel in the announcement of their candidacies?

Teodoro himself is from Luzon. Would it be more strategic to get a running mate from the south to pull up the sagging popularity of Gibo?

Edu Manzano, who has roots in Iloilo province, was also considered but the Manila-based actor doesn?t have a real bailiwick to deliver votes for Teodoro unlike Durano and Garcia in Cebu.

In politics nothing is set in stone until the filing of certificates of candidacy. Negotiations continue until terms are acceptable to all parties.

So it wouldn?t be surprising if the administration coalition pulls a rabbit out of the hat in Cebu. Nothing is impossible in politics. Party leaders can come up with a number of excuses for changing their minds. They can invoke the people?s will and the most commonly used rationale ? destiny discerned from the will of God.

One thing is certain: Cebu has carved itself as an important voting bloc, more so after the 2004 presidential elections. If not, presidential wannabes would not be wasting their time coming here often to woo Cebuanos and key leaders in the guise of multi-sectoral consultations, pasasalamat and distributing freebies.

Cebuanos should be able to use the attention wisely: Vote for those who can best serve not just Cebu but the entire country.

It?s about time Filipinos have a president who will not plunder the nation?s wealth or put personal or family interests ahead of the people.


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