National campaign time for Cebu Governor GarciaCebu Daily News
HER message wasn’t just for Cebuanos but a nation of potential voters.
Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia called on support for her own senatorial bid during the State of the Province Address (SOPA)
She said her enemies “hope to destroy the opportunity of this Cebuano relying upon the awesome, formidable votes of our fellow Cebuanos to serve Cebu and the Visayans in the Senate.”
“Will you allow this?” she asked the audience. They responded, “No.”
The crowd that attended the SOPA included hundreds of barangay health workers, tanods, day care teachers and fisherfolk who came in uniform white T-shirts.
The shirts declared: Gwen Garcia, One Philippines and had her face emblazoned on it.
No oath-taking of new party members of her One Cebu took place, as feared by her opponents.
But Garcia’s Manila-based allies of the United National Alliance (UNA) sat up front and the electricity of a political campaign was in the air.
Three large halls which seat 2,500 each in the Cebu International Convention Center were all full.
After her speech in the Plenary Hall, the governor, her brother gubernatorial candidate Rep. Pablo John Garcia, and Vice President Jejomar Binay went to the adjacent Summit Hall where barangay workers were assembled.
The governor thanked them for coming.
Binay and senatorial aspirants Milagros Magsaysay, Miguel Zubiri, and Jose de Venecia III took turns speaking to the crowd and assuring them of additional incentives and allowances if they are elected in 2013.
Unlike past SOPAs held at the Capitol social hall, the audience had a bigger venue yesterday.
Marissa Nallana, managing consultant of the CICC, estimated that 8,500 people attended the annual address.
The Summit Hall was filled with barangay, town and city officials in the province of Cebu, PNP-7 officials, business groups, and private sector partners.
Banners welcoming Vice President Binay hung in prominent areas at the CICC.
“This is going to be an interesting campaign,” Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said to former senator Ernesto Maceda, while waiting for the speech to start./Senior Reporter Marian Z. Codilla