Realignments in CebuCebu Daily News
It’s refreshing to see young politicians starting to ascend to political positions once held once by their parents like Samsam Gullas, grandson of Congressman Eduardo Gullas.
Congressman Gullas has held various political offices over the past 40 years. He was elected member of the House of Representatives representing the 1st district of Cebu, Cebu governor and mayor of Talisay City. His career began long before martial law was declared in 1972 by President Ferdinand Marcos. I remember when he was appointed Cebu governor by Marcos to replace my uncle Gov. Osmundo Rama and later in 1986, after the Edsa Revolt when Tito Mundo replaced him as OIC governor on President Corazon Aquino’s orders.
Gullas became a political opponent of the Ramas in the same district that my grandfather Don Vicente Rama used to serve as representative. I had my first close encounter with Congressman Eddie Gullas at the old dyRF radio station where we had a very warm conversation about many issues and my biases against Gullas were cleared up.
I found Eddie Gullas a true gentleman and very articulate. No wonder he has a lot of followers. He is an astute politician. It’s worth watching where Gullas will align himself in the 2013 election. Gullas never lost an election. His opponents included my cousin Napoleon Rama who ran against Eddie’s brother Dodong Gullas for the 1st congressional district.
It is not known yet what position Eduardo Gullas will run for next year when his third term as congressman ends. The crucial question is, with Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia leaving the Capitol to run for the Senate, will the One Cebu party still be intact? Reports have it that some municipal mayors are distancing themselves from the once dominant One Cebu.
The spokeman of Vice Mayor Nito Durano confirmed that the Bakud Party is aligning itself with the Liberal Party (LP) and that Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale will be the runningmate of gubernatorial bet Hilario “Junjun” Davide III.
Clearly the Liberal Party is gaining ground in Cebu as it solidifies its support in the 5th district. So finally there will be a Davide-Magpale tandem under the LP banner in 2013 that will be formally announced by President Benigno Aquino III himself. Does this development signal the downfall of the much vaunted Garcia political hold in Cebu? Pablo Garcia is still congressman of the 2nd district while PJ Garcia is in the 3rd district. Nelson Garcia is mayor of Dumanjug town while Marlon Garcia is the vice mayor of Barili.
I heard that Mandaue businessman Glenn Scoco is being seriously considered as a candidate for vice governor of PJ Garcia after Magpale swung to the LP. The way things are going, the prospects of the Garcias in 2013 elections may no longer be a bright as they used to be.
Noy Pabling, I was told, is already too old to campaign in 2013 and some mayors in the 2nd district are considering putting up a candidate to challenge him. Nelson Garcia is also busy with his quarrel with some mayors in the 2nd district district while Marlon is busy quarreling with his mayor in Barili.
Alex Binghay of the 3rd district is good material to run for Congress to replace PJ Garcia, who is running for governor. So far no political opponent has surfaced to contest Binghay. Rep. Benhur Salimbangon of the 4th district is in a difficult position because he has to remain with One Cebu party or join the UNA group of Binay in the next elections. He can’t join the Liberals because his no.1 opponent Bogo Mayor Junie Martinez is the LP district chairmain.
If Gullas aligns himself with the Liberals, I think it will be safe to say that the political fight in Cebu heavily favors the LP tandem. But there’s a caveat. The Liberal Party should work doubly hard and can’t be complacent as PJ Garcia is hard working congressman and may come up with political surprises.
Admittedly the Davide-Magpale tandem is the team to beat in 2013 because it was the 5th district of the Duranos in north Cebu that provided the winning margin for Governor Garcia in 2010.
With Magpale and the Duranos of the 5th district aligning with the Liberal Party, the chances of Davide winning the gubernatorial race are high. Finally we get to see a true political battle in the Province of Cebu in 2013.
More from this Column:
- Can’t BO-PK accept people’s will?
- Generally peaceful polls
- Forecasts for Cebu’s elections
- Wishy-washy on flyovers
- Sad family affair