Even if Liberal Party-Cebu (LP-Cebu) officials expect a small crowd of 4,000 to 5,000 in Talisay city, this afternoon’s rally introducing their Senate slate will be graced by top leaders of Cebu’s 1st district.
Heading that group is Rep. Eduardo Gullas whose Alayon party counts for majority of the mayors in Cebu’s 1st district.
The LP rally will be held in a private lot in front of the Talisay City Hall.
Gullas’s allies said he instructed Talisay City officials and the mayors in the first district to attend the LP rally.
They denied reports that Gullas would announce any direct support for the LP’s bet in the gubernatorial race, Hilario Davide III.
Gullas has been an ally of Gov. Gwen Garcia’s One Cebu party in previous local elections, but has also expressed support lately for the Aquino administration.
Gullas is running for Talisay city mayor while his grandson is running for his congressional seat.
His followers said they will show their support for the administration of President Benigno Aquino III since Alayon is affiliated with the Nacionalista Party which is part of the administration coalition.
Gullas earlier announced that his Alayon party will support Rep. Pablo John Garcia of Cebu’s 3rd district for governor.
But he said they will support Davide’s runningmate Agnes Magpale for vice governor.
Davide, meanwhile, said he hasn’t talked with Gullas and is unfamiliar with reports speculating that the congressman would declare support for him.
“Wa ko kahibawo (I don’t know),” Davide laughed when asked if Talisay candidates are expected to go up the stage.
Davide said the rally is for the Senate lineup and not local candidates.
He said they expect 4,000 to 5,000 people to attend the rally, mostly from Talisay and nearby cities and towns.
He said they don’t expect to assemble a big crowd like the 25,000 who attended the opposition’s United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) Senate kickoff in Plaza Independencia because they won’t use “hakot” or government vehicles.
The President will arrive at the rally site at 6:30 p.m. and there will be a meeting for local leaders in the venue, said Davide.
The President will not attend another LP-Cebu rally at the Tayud gym in Liloan town, he said.
Naga City Mayor Valdemar Chiong confirmed that Gullas asked him and other mayors to attend the rally in Talisay City but dismissed speculations that Gullas and the group will shift support from Garcia to Davide.
Chiong said he supports some Team P-Noy’s candidates like Cynthia Villar who is from the Nacionalista party and Senators Francis Escudero and Loren Legarda.
He said he also supports Nancy Binay, JV Ejercito and Juan Miguel Zubiri of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
“We believe in the President’s advocacy. So we’ll be there to support him,” Chiong said.
Talisay City Vice Mayor Alan Bucao said it’s a privilege for the city to welcome the president.
He said the LP requested to have the rally held at the Tabunok public market but the area is already fenced.
Bucao said Talisay Mayor Soc Fernandez suggested that the rally be held in front of Talisay City Hall and negotiated with the private lot owner. The city also helped install the lights.
Talisay is the biggest city in the first district, which is the biggest congressional district in Cebu province in voting population. /Jhunnex Napallacan, Correspondent