Talisay mayorship for Edigul; Alayon party neutral in governor’s raceBy Jhunnex Napallacan
Cebu Daily News
There’s no retirement from politics for Rep. Eduardo Gullas of Cebu’s 1st district who announced yesterday that he was running for mayor of Talisay City.
“I am prepared to offer myself to run as mayor in Talisay. I really did not intend to run but I cannot turn down the request of my constituents,” said the 81-year-old political veteran.
He had served as Cebu governor for 10 years, congressman for six terms and Talisay mayor for three years in a career that started in the 1970s.
Gullas said his Alayon party will support Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale’s candidacy in 2013 but that they haven’t decided yet whom to support for Cebu governor.
Gullas said it’s a “zona libre” or free zone in the race for governor in the 1st district because Alayon isn’t committed to support either Hilario Davide III of the Liberal Party or One Cebu’s standard bearer Rep. Pablo John Garcia of Cebu’s 3rd district.
Gullas was one of the first Cebu politicians to announce his support for Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia in her bid for a Senate seat.
Yesterday he said the alliance of Alayon and One Cebu only served for the 2010 election, where Garcia won her third term as governor.
Gullas said Governor Garcia called him seeking a meeting next week, apparently to secure support for her brother’s gubernatorial campaign.
When asked if they would support Pablo John’s candidacy at that time, Gullas said “anything’s possible.”
Gullas used to say he would run the family-owned University of the Visayas (UV) after his third and last term ends next year.
With another potential term as Talisay mayor before him, the elder Gullas presented his 27-year-old grandson Gerald Anthony Gullas as his successor in Congress.
Gullas’ running mate next year will be incumbent Vice Mayor Alan Bucao.
Outgoing Mayor Socrates Fernandez will run as councilor.
Gullas ran for and won in Congress in 1992, where he served for three terms until 2001. In that same year, he ran and won as mayor of Talisay City serving until 2004, when he won a seat in Congress representing the 1st district. His third term ends next year.
Gullas also served as governor of Cebu from 1976 to 1986, spanning the Martial Law era until he was replaced by an OIC after the EDSA revolt.
Gullas yesterday said he would have wanted to retire and concentrate on managing UV in Cebu City but that his constituents urged him to run again.
Gullas’s other grandson, Talisay City Councilor Eduardo “Digul” Gullas III who became councilor in 2010 at 18 years old, will seek reelection.
When asked whether his grandsons’ candidacy smacks of nepotism, Gullas said Gerald Anthony was qualified for Congress.
“It’s the people who will decide whether or not to vote for me and my grandson in office,” he told reporters. Gullas also explained that Alayon will support Magpale since his family is close to her.
Cebu’s 1st district which comprises the towns of Minglanilla, San Fernando and Sibonga and the cities of Carcar, Naga and Talisay has a voting population of more than half a million.
Gullas also announced Alayon’s lineup in the 1st district.
For Sibonga town, it’s the tandem of Mayor Lionel Bacaltos and Vice Mayor Rey Apuda. In Carcar City, it’s Mayor Nicepuro Apura and Patrick Barcenas.
In Naga City Mayor Valdemar Chiong will run with Vice Mayor Delfin Señor under Alayon, while former Mayor Nenette Reluya and husband Ricardo Nonoy Reluya will decide between them who will run for mayor and vice mayor in San Fernando.
In Minglanilla town, the tandem of Vice Mayor Lani Peña and Councilor Robert John Jojo Selma will run for mayor and vice mayor. Selma is the son of incumbent Mayor Eduardo Selma. /With Correspondent Katreena Bisnar