THINK BITS

Forecasts for Cebu’s elections

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We are now in the home stretch of the campaign period for the May 13 elections.   In the Province of Cebu, it will be a  battle royale between One Cebu’s  Pablo John Garcia and Liberal Party (LP) bet Hilario Davide III .  The race for vice governor has  Acting Governor Agnes Magpale of the LP  poised to win.

In the 1st  district, Gerald Anthony Gullas will definitely win since he’s running  without any opponent. In the 2nd district,  Congressman Pablo Garcia is taking the lead.  LP bet Wilfredo Caminero is not getting the support of the towns  as expected because of the numerous projects that Garcia accomplished there.

The 3rd district will see another tough battle  between suspended governor Gwendolyn Garcia and Pinamungahan Mayor Geraldine Yapha with the governor enjoying a confortable lead.

In the 4th  district, I think Congressman Benhur Salimbangon holds a slim, uncomfortable lead over cormer Congressman Celestino Martinez III.

In the 5th district, I think Ace Durano, former tourism secretary and former district congressman,  will win by virtue of his admirable track record in public service and the strong party organization of the Barug Alang sa Kauswagan ug Demokrasya or Bakud party.

In the 6th district Congressman Luigi Quisumbing will win against his predecessor Nerissa Soon-Ruiz because of the many things he has done for Mandaue City and the support of other towns.  Things  may change depending on many factors like shifts in the loyalty of supporters though by this time such a scenario is far-fetched.

Of course, the release of  money for vote buying during the runup  to Election Day will affect the results. Whether we like it or not, some armed men who support certain candidates will also influence the outcome.

I am praying that the elections in Cebu province will be peaceful and orderly with no repeat of the  incident in Bogo City in the 2010  election, where a standoff by rival parties on the road caused so much tension.  The people’s voice should be heard and respected.

I beg not to write a fearless forecast for the Cebu City elections to be fair to both parties involved since I am a  cousin of reelectionsit Mayor Michael Rama.  I would rather keep my opinion about the city race to myself.

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Last Sunday the Lay Initiatives For Elections 2013 (Life) endorsed 12 senatorial candidates  in a mixed ticket. It also endorsed Pablo John Garcia for Cebu governor  and Mayor Michael Rama for reelection in Cebu City.

For Cebu congressmen,  the lay group is endorsing Samsam  Gullas for the 1st district, Pablo Garcia for the 2nd  district, his daughter Gwendolyn for the 3rd district, Benhur Salimbangon for the 4th  district, Ace Durano for the 5th district, Luigi Quisumbing for the 6th  district and finally Aileen Radaza for the lone district of Lapu-Lapu City.

In Cebu City, Life is endorsing Raul del Mar for congressman of the north district. I respect the decision of the lay group to endorse candidates as  it is their right to do so especially after they were belittled by supporters of the Repoductive Health (RH) Law.

Now lay Catholics are showing their power to mobilize for the elections.

With  due respect to critics, the provision separating the two spheres of Church and State only prohibits the Church from directly or indirectly participating in a government function.

The Church can guide its flock on who to vote for  and that should be respected just as respect is given to other churches like the Iglesia ni Kristo.

The Catholic group El Shaddai has expressed support for certain candidates in past elections  and has been respected for its decision.

Pro-RH advocates provoked Catholics to  make public their support for certain candidates especially since some anti-life bills have been filed in Congress like the divorce bill.

Don’t  ignore the Catholic Church’s influence on voters as it has shown its power in the case of former senator Juan Flavier who always topped the surveys yet found himself in the middle of the top 12  after curch based groups campaigned against his election.

I support the right of the  Catholic Church  to guide her flock.

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