Feeling left out of the group, Barili Municipal Mayor Teresito Mariñas yesterday announced his exit from the One Cebu party of Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and transfer to the Liberal Party (LP).
He said he’s had “enough” of the treatment of his former partymates especially Barili Vice Mayor Marlon Garcia.
One Cebu counts on the support of at least 31 mayors in Cebu province.
Mariñas is the first of the mayors to bolt the party this year to joining the party of President Benigno Aquino III.
“I am dismayed by how they were treating me despite the fact that we belong to the same party,
said the mayor in a phone interview.
“It wasn’t easy. I’ve been thinking about it for a few months but its really time that I have to switch party loyalty because I’m no longer happy with our group,” said Mariñas in Cebuano.
Mariñas said that after the May 2010 elections, he noticed that Vice Mayor Garcia was already forming another group.
Garcia and the town councilors would hold meetings without inviting Mariñas. In turn, Garcia wouldn’t attend meetings called by the mayor.
Vice Mayor Garcia said he was happy with the change.
“It was a smart move on his part. He was never a One Cebu member by heart,” he said.
Garcia said the mayor shifted party to One Cebu in the May 2010 elections for convenience to protect his position as a mayor.
Both officials said their relationship was strained from the start so no real change is expected.
“Mas maayo nga magklarohay na lang ta (It’s better to be clear where we stand),” Mariñas said.
Cebu 3rd district Rep. Pablo John Garcia, in an e-mail, said he wasn’t surprised by Mariñas’ transfer.
He said the mayor had long been trying to “wiggle out of a commitment he made before the 2010 elections.”
He said Marlon Garcia was set to run for Barili mayor in 2010, so to head off a collision, “Mariñas offered to the governor and One Cebu leaders a compromise: to let him run unopposed in 2010 and, after one term, for Marlon to run for mayor in 2013, unopposed by him.”
“With his oath-taking, Mayor Mariñas is merely manifesting that he does not and probably never had any intention of fulfilling his end of the bargain,” Congressman Garcia said.
Mariñas said he never signed any agreement with the Garcias about it.
“I have high respects nila pero wala gyud ko mopirma ana nga agreement. I have not breached any agreement. I am not bound by it. I have not signed anything,” he said.