TWELVE southern Cebu town mayors allied with the Liberal Party (LP) are shifting their alliances to President Rodrigo Duterte’s Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).
Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III, LP Cebu chapter chairperson, confirmed during an interview yesterday about the move of all the mayors allied with LP from Cebu province’s second and seventh districts to shift to the PDP-Laban party.
Davide said that the mayors told him that they would take their oath as new members of the PDP-Laban on Nov. 17.
Last August 2016, a batch of 300 politicians from Cebu City, Mandaue City, Aloguinsan, Balamban, Bantayan, Barili, Borbon, Consolacion, Cordova,
Liloan and Medellin, either from LP or the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), switched alliances to PDP-Laban.
They took their oath in front of House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.
Davide said that he had no problem with the mayors shifting their alliances.
“I met with all the mayors in the 7th district last week during a ceremonial MOA (memorandum of agreement) signing with RAFI (Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc.), and later that day, the mayors from the 2nd district came. They told me about their intentions, and I told them I have no problem with what they’re doing as long as it’s for the good of your constituents,” he said.
The governor, however, said that the mayors also assured him of their support if he would seek reelection in 2019.
“They cited their reasons, but they assured me of their support in the event that I will seek reelection. Even Congress, a lot (of congressmen) in Congress have sworn with PDP–Laban but (for me), I’d like to stick with LP,” Davide said.
The 2nd district of Cebu is made up of seven towns located on the southeastern part of the island. Six of the mayors of the seven towns ran and won under LP during the elections last May 2016.
The six LP mayors of the second district are Mayors Stanley Caminero of Argao, Merlou Derama of Boljoon, Ronald Cesante of Dalaguete, Jose Tumulak of Oslob, Marilyn Wenceslao of Santander and Emerito Calderon of Samboan.
Michael Angelo Sestoso of One Cebu is the mayor of Alcoy town, the seventh town of the second district.
However, One Cebu also allied with the PDP-Laban last August 2016.
CDN tried to contact the six LP mayors but only Cesante confirmed the move to PDP-Laban. The other mayors could not be reached for comment.
Meanwhile, Cebu’s 7th district is made up of eight towns — six of them run by LP-allied mayors and two of them run by One Cebu allied mayors.
The LP-allied mayors which have been reported to shift alliances to PDP-Laban are Verna Magallon of Alegria, Beatriz Caburnay of Alcantara, Carmen Librando–Lumain of Badian, Efren Gica of Dumanjug, Dean Singco of Ginatilan and Mariano Blanco III of Ronda.
Malabuyoc Mayor Lito Creus and Moalboal Mayor Inocentes Cabaron are the other 7th district mayors, who belong to the One Cebu party.
CDN tried to contact the six LP allied mayors of the 7th district but only Caburnay confirmed the move. The others could not be reached for comment.
Alcantara Mayor Caburnay said “the opportunity served as a chance” for her town to connect directly with the national government.
“I’m doing this because I wanted Alcantara to have a say in the national government. But rest assured, we still support our governor,” Caburnay said in a phone interview.
Meanwhile, Tuburan Mayor Democrito Diamante, the president of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines– Cebu Chapter (LMP–Cebu), told Cebu Daily News in a phone interview yesterday that he welcomed the decision of the 12 mayors to shift alliance.
“That’s a welcome development, and I’m grateful for our mayors on making this decision, because in the end, this will be beneficial for their people,” said Diamante, who also shifted his alliance from LP to PDP-Laban in August 2017.
“Nevertheless, our governor still have our support. That’s one thing that hasn’t changed,” he added.