‘Weather-weather’ politicsBy Malou Guanzon-Apalisok
Cebu Daily News
Political realignments in Cebu are getting very interesting after it was reported that the administration Liberal Party will coalesce with the Nacionalista Party (NP) headed by Senator Manuel Villar.
The NP is in alliance with Alayon, a local party founded in the late ’90s by former senator John Henry “Sonny” Osmeña and 1st district Rep. Eduardo Gullas. Sonny is no longer active in the local party, leaving Eddiegul with sole authority to steer the group.
Alayon supported Senator Villar when he ran for president in the 2010 elections and although Eddiegul and most of his local candidates won comfortably, Villar lost to then LP standard bearer Benigno S. Aquino III in Eddiegul’s stronghold, Talisay City.
In a previous column, I wrote that the so-called administration mentality will see politicians sidle up to the LP because the incumbent President has influence to distribute political largesse during elections. In fact, because P-Noy enjoys high credibility owing to his campaign to build a culture of good governance, there is added psychological advantage to being seen in his company.
Earlier, there were reports that Senator Villar also received feelers from the political opposition to join the United Nationalist Alliance, but he tossed the issue to his local supporters, among them Alayon. I gathered that when members were asked which party they would like to join, many voted LP without thinking.
Talisay City is even bent on a makeover. The Lagtang Public Market which is named Gullas-Macapagal Public Market will be renamed New Talisay Public Market. The spin that Councilor Eduardo “Digul” Gullas III tied to his resolution is ostensibly to “return the market to the people.” This drew a strong reaction from an opposition councilor who described the move as a ploy to distance Eddiegul, said to be running for Talisay City mayor, from the controversy-laden public market.
Well, I don’t know how a change of name could erase the issues unless the local opposition is trying to play ball with Alayon which will soon join them in the LP. In my view, Talisaynons are being drawn to revisit a contentious issue which serves no purpose other than masking the weather-weather kind of politics.
Time seems to be running out for Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia who continues to be in the lower rung of popularity surveys of 2013 senatoriables. Garcia who heads the local party One Cebu is included in the United Nationalist Alliance UNA’s 2013 senatorial ticket.
The latest polling conducted by the Social Weather Station (SWS) placed Garcia in 26th spot among 50 names. Pulse Asia had come up with a similar polling early this year in which Garcia was 45th on a list of 74 possible senatorial bets.
One of many nuances that SWS and Pulse Asia have yet to analyse is whether voters are inclined to vote two or more female candidates in a line-up of 12. Recent SWS and Pulse Asia polls combined show that only Loren Legarda consistently landed in the top 2 trailing behind Senator Francis Escudero as the number 1 candidate for senator.
In the Pulse Asia survey, the rest from third to eleventh place are male: Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas II, Sen. Gregorio Honasan, Cagayan Rep. Jack Enrile, San Juan Rep. JV Ejercito, Senators Antonio Trillanes, Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, Miguel Zubiri and former senator Richard Gordon.
Nancy Binay, daughter of Vice President Jejomar Binay landed in the 12th spot.
The names of Las Piñas congresswoman Cynthia Villar and former senator Jamby Madrigal surfaced in the top 12 with Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto and Ilocos Rep. Imee Marcos, Censors board chief Grace Poe-Llamanzares, Bacoor Rep. Lani Mercado-Revilla former Akbayan party-list representative Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel, and Zambales Rep. Mitos Magsaysay rounding up the 15th to 20th place.
Pollsters say the trend in the top 12 could still change once celebrities, like Vilma Santos or Grace Poe will hit the campaign trail. Many senatoriables who are in the top 12 are getting to be very visible in national and provincial media because they know that once celebrities “peak”, the edge that they now enjoy could diminish. I remember a veteran politician saying that a ranking below number 12 is signum malum (bad sign).
More from this Column:
- Giant killer of Talisay City
- Euro garapals
- Easter Triduum
- Lessons from Danao
- Lapu-Lapu Liberals and a pocket paradise