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.