She went to Manila to ask Binay and other United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) leaders that she be allowed to run for Cebu’s 3rd congressional district instead.
“In fairness to Governor Garcia, hers is a very logical decision,” said Binay, softening the blow.
“Her reasons are correct; she’s needed more in Cebu.”
Binay, leader of UNA, which included Gwen Garcia in their Senate lineup, was in Cebu for the groundbreaking of the Argao District House Project in Argao town, southern Cebu.
“Her brother is running for governor, her father’s running for reelection and she will run for Congress too,” Binay added.
In a separate interview Rep. Pablo Garcia of Cebu’s 2nd district said his daughter’s exit was a “family decision” based on the clamor of mayor allies under the One Cebu party.
Vice President Binay said the change of plan was not due to survey ratings that placed Gwen in the 25th spot in a tight race for 12 Senate seats.
Binay said UNA coalition leaders spoke with Garcia when she was in Manila a few days ago.
Asked if there was any replacement yet for Garcia on the UNA ticket, Binay said it would have to be discussed with UNA.
One Cebu party spokesman Rory Jon Sepulveda said the governor will make a formal announcement next week.
“Meanwhile, she continues, as usual, to dispense her duties as governor. Everyone is invited to join the latest Suroy-suroy this weekend,” Sepulveda said.
Last week, some Cebu mayors in the 2nd and 3rd district urged Governor Garcia to run for Congress.
Garcia ranks 25th in the list of senatorial candidates in a Pulse Asia Survey last Aug. 31 to Sep. 7 with an 8.6 percent rating and placed 25 to 26 in an UNA-commissioned survey.
Rep. Garcia admitted that survey results were considered in the governor’s decision.
The elder Garcia said the biggest factor was the demand of One Cebu-allied mayors for her to run in the province.
He said the mayors are worried that if the governor runs for senator, she could not help them in their campaigns.
Garcia said the decision was finalized last week when the governor met the mayors and other officials from the third district. “They were happy that she decided to run for Congress,” he said.
Garcia said Provincial Board (PB) member Alex Binghay who was earlier floated as One Cebu’s congressional candidate for the third district, already agreed to run for reelection to give way to the governor.
Garcia said Binghay knew that a Congress bid was a fallback option for Gwen when she transferred her registration in Barili.
“Our friend Alex understood (the governor’s position),” he said.
When asked if their family will stick to UNA, Rep. Garcia said he is the national chairman of the National Unity Party (NUP) which has ongoing negotiations with the administration Liberal Party.
But he said any alliance with the Liberal Party means they will only support the national candidates of LP and not the candidates of other parties that coalesced with it, like the Nacionalista Party (NP).
Garcia said NUP will have a national convention on Sept. 26.
Garcia said his daughter is already a member of the PDP-Laban, so she may bring the party in her congressional bid in the third district.
Garcia believed that his daughter is a sure winner if she runs for Congress.
The governor may face Pinamungahan Mayor Geraldine Yapha, who is reportedly the congressional bet of the LP-Cebu chapter for the third district.
Rep. Garcia said based on the last elections his son Pablo John also won in the district, so they believed Gwendolyn can duplicate his win.
He said One Cebu party has four mayors in their fold while only two mayors in Pinamungahan and Tuburan towns were LP-allies.
In related news former congressman Simeon Kintanar Jr. said he will run again in Cebu’s 2nd district.
In an interview with reporters in Argao town, Kintanar said it was former chief justice Hilario Davide who prodded him to run for a congressional seat.
But he said he’s uncertain whether he will be chosen as LP’s bet for the second district.
PB member Wilfredo Caminero, who recently took his oath as LP member, said he’s interested to run for the second district. Kintanar was with LP in the last May 2010 elections.
Simeon Lucero Kintanar, a former National Telecommunications commissioner, served for three terms in Cebu’s 2nd district.