New majority shaping up?By Dale G. Israel
Cebu Daily News
IS A new majority bloc shaping up in the Cebu Provincial Board?
Seven out of 15 PB members attended yesterday’s birthday party and oath-taking of Danao City Vice Mayor Ramon “Nito” Durano III of the Cebu-based Barug Alang sa Kaugmaon ug Demokrasya (Bakud).
The event in the Durano compound in Danao City was LP’s biggest political gathering this year.
Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale, a founding member of Bakud, said at least eight Capitol legislators are allies of LP and Bakud.
“I can count eight but I won’t just say who they are for now,” she said.
Four are members of the Durano clan – Jude Thadeo Durano Sybico (5th district), Peter John Durano Calderon (2nd district), newly appointed Miguel Magpale (5th district), and Nito’s daughter Carmen Remedios Durano-Meca (Philippine Councilors’ League representative).
Three non-Bakud members were present at the Danao event – Wilfredo Caminero (2nd district), Thadeo Ouano (6th district), and Arleigh Sitoy (6th district) were there.
Caminero said he was there to greet “Boss Nito”, who was a “very good friend”.
“Muanhi man gani mi nganhi ug wala’y birthday or walay okasyon, karon pa kaha nga birthday niya?”
Asked if was shifting to LP, Caminero chuckled: “As of now, no comment.”
Caminero is a former mayor of vote-rich Argao town in the 2nd district. His son Alladin is a PB member representing the Sangguniang Kabataan federation. His son was not in Danao City yesterday.
Fifteen of 51 Cebu province mayors attended the birthday party, including longtime Garcia-allies Samboan Mayor Raymond Calderon, who is a nephew of Nito Durano, and Santander Vice Mayor Wilson Wenceslao. Wenceslao said he was there to greet the birthday celebrant, who was a good friend.
But for Nito Durano, their presence shows support for or an interest to join the LP eventually.
“Kani ilahang pag anhi, ganahan pud ni sila muapil. Mao na akong pagsabot. They are just probably waiting for the right time,” said Nito in an interview.
Cebu’s 5th congressional district has about 286,000 voters and covers Danao city and towns of Borbon, Carmen, Catmon, Compostela, Liloan, Pilar, Poro, San Francisco, Sogod, and Tudela.
In the VIP tent near the stage were Mayors Jonas Cortes of Mandaue City, Teresa Alegado of Consolacion, Geraldine Yapha of Pinamungajan, Raymond Calderon of Samboan, Antonio Canoy of San Fernando, Democrito Diamante of Tuburan, Junie Martinez of Bogo City, Jennifer Illustrisimo of Santa Fe.
All 5th district mayors were present except Nito’s estranged brother Danao Mayor Ramon “Boy” Durano and Liloan town’s Duke Frasco, son-in-law of Governor Garcia.
The district mayors were Lissa Marie Durano of Sogod, Martin Gerardo Villamor of Carmen, Joel Quino of Compostela, Jesus Fernandez of Pilar, Erwin Yu of Tudela, and Luciano Rama of Poro.
In his speech, Nito said he was overwhelmed by President Aquino’s presence at his birthday.
“Sa tinud-anay lang, I cannot find the appropriate words to express my feelings today. I could not imagine having the President of the Republic of the Philippines as a guest on my birthday. But here he is with us. Thank you so much, Mr. President,” Nito said.
“For and behalf of Bakud, I welcome you to this historic event. It is not only me and my family who are honored by your presence, Your Excellency. It is the whole 5th district of Cebu overwhelmingly represented by Bakud officials.”
“With all sincerity and humility, Bakud’s history since its founding in 2001 shows how we party members firmly stick to agreements and alliances. Thus to our partners in the Liberal Party we give you this firm assurance of fidelity and hard work,” said Nito.
“When Bakud commits itself to our partners in the Liberal Party, Bakud will pursue with dogged and fierce determination to fulfill our pledge and realize our promise… Junjun Davide and Agnes Magpale sa Capitolyo sa Sugbo!”
In response, Roxas promised that the alliance would be built on mutual respect and support.
“We will be responsible partners. This is not a partnership or a political coalition based on tayo-tayo, sila-sila. This is not based on personality. This is not based on whim or weder-weder. But this is founded on the very program of government that the President, President Noynoy Aquino, ran on and which you here the people of Cebu supported him on,” Roxas said.