Carpio declines to choose between Gwen and Magpale; says it is up to Cebuanos to decide who will be the next governor
Presidential daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio will not endorse a candidate for governor.
Instead, she leaves it to the Cebuanos to choose between Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale and Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia of Cebu’s 3rd district on who will be the next chief executive of the province.
Carpio explained that she wanted to remain friends with those who were supportive of the administration of her father, President Duterte.
The presidential daughter said Magpale was a friend and a distant relative.
Garcia, on the other hand, heads the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) in Cebu. She and her 1Cebu Party entered an alliance with PDP-Laban during the 2016 presidential polls.
Carpio was here on Monday to grace two events.
In the morning, she was in Liloan town, about 21 km from Cebu City, to sign a sisterhood agreement between Davao City and Liloan where the mayor is Garcia’s daughter, Ma. Christina Garcia-Frasco.
By noon, Carpio was at the Mandaue City Cultural and Sports Complex for the signing of the alliance with Mandaue officials led by Mayor Luigi Quisumbing.
Magpale was among those who attended the gathering.
During a speech at the Panphil Frasco Memorial Sports Complex in Liloan about 9 a.m., Carpio joked that her Cebu visit was made to campaign for both Magpale and Garcia.
“Naa ko karon diring buntaga kay mangampanya ko kang Gov. Gwen Garcia. Karong hapon inig tindog nako sa ilang stage, moana pod ko nga naa ko karon kay mangampanya ko kang Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale (I am here this morning to campaign for Governor Gwen Garcia. But in the afternoon, I will stand on their stage and I would also say that ‘I am here to campaign for Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale)’,” she said laughing.
But Carpio said that she didn’t want to meddle in local politics especially since both Magpale and Garcia were her friends.
She added she also had no interest in the province’s political landscape because she was not from Cebu although they had a lot of relatives in Cebu.
“Let’s go back to elections and let the people choose,” she said in a speech in Liloan town.
Carpio admitted that she met with Magpale in Davao City on Oct. 13, four days before filing the Certificate of Candidacy (COC) for governor.
Her cousin, Danao City Mayor Ramon “Nito” Durano III, sent her to Davao to personally deliver a letter to Carpio.
“Gipangutana nako sya pwede ba mo maghiusa (I asked her [Magpale] if unity (with Rep. Garcia) was possible),” Carpio said.
But Magpale told Carpio: “Dili. Di gyud mi pwede maghiusa (No. We could never be one).”
“I said, kamo kon di gyod mo gusto maghiusa (If you don’t want to unify), there is democracy. There is an election. Mag-grupo na lang mo (Form a group) and you let the people choose because that is the essence of our elections,” she recalled telling Magpale then.
After Magpale returned to Cebu on the same day, talks were rife that she was running for governor with the support of Carpio’s Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) which also had an alliance with Durano’s Barug Alang sa Kauswagan Ug Demokrasya (Bakud).
On Oct. 16, Gov. Hilario Davide III didn’t opt for a third term and instead filed his COC for vice governor.
Magpale filed her COC for governor the next day.
Davide said the switch was made “to protect their local alliances from existing pressures.”
While most of the Cebu mayors are now allied with PDP-Laban, Davide has stayed with the Liberal Party (LP) of former President Benigno Aquino III where he was first elected as governor.
Magpale is allied with Bakud and the Nationalist Peoples’ Coalition (NPC).
But Carpio told reporters that the HNP’s alliance with Bakud did not push through because of the opposition of some HNP leaders.
“We don’t have an alliance with Bakud. Ang alliance man gud with HNP needs to be approved by the governors, the officers, and we did not get that approval. I am here as a friend to everybody,” she said.
Carpio was expected to arrive in Liloan at about 7:30 a.m. but she arrived about at 9 a.m. for the signing of the sisterhood agreement between Davao and Liloan.
She also led the distribution of scholarship certificates to 3,400 high school and college scholars from Liloan.
The scholarship program is an initiative of former mayor and now Cebu Ports Authority (CPA) Commissioner Vincent “Duke” Frasco and continued by his wife, Mayor Garcia-Frasco.
But Carpio endorsed the 5th district congressional bid of Frasco and members of his slate.
Frasco is challenging the reelection bid of Rep. Ramon “Red” Durano VI, whose family is related to the Dutertes.
Carpio also shared the stage at the Panphil Frasco gym with Andrei “Red” Duterte, who is running to represent the 5th district in the Provincial Board.
Red Duterte is son of Eleanor Duterte, a first-degree cousin of President Duterte and a candidate for mayor of Danao City against Mayor Durano, Red Durano’s father.
About noon, Carpio arrived at the Mandaue City Cultural and Sports Complex to formalize her alliance with Quisumbing’s Panaghugpong Mandauehanon sa Pagbabago and administer their oath of office.
Carpio said HNP agreed to endorse Quisumbing as their standard bearer in Mandaue because he was a “friend and (an) ally.”
She pointed out that it is only in Mandaue City where she sought the help of local officials to push the senatorial candidates of HNP.
Some HNP senatorial candidates joined her in the the sortie —former Philippine National Police chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, former Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Zajid Mangudadatu and actor Emilio Ramon “ER” Ejercito III .
In her speech in Mandaue, Carpio again stressed the need to allow Cebuano voters to choose their governor.
“That is the essence of democracy that we have an election,” said Carpio.
“It is best nga ang katawhan mopili kon kinsa ilang iboto (that the people get to decide on who to vote),” she added.
Carpio said that on election day, Magpale and Garcia should respect the decision of the majority of Cebuanos.
Before she ended her speech, Carpio asked the crowd inside the Mandaue City Cultural and Sports Complex who was their choice for governor.
Most of the people screamed Magpale’s name.
“Respecting the will of the majority, so atong iboto pagka gobernador si Agnes Magpale (we should vote Agnes Magpale for governor),” Carpio said.
Magpale was inside the sports complex with her son, Miguel Antonio and Grecilda “Gigi” Sanchez-Zaballero who are running to represent the 5th and 3rd districts in the Provincial Board respectively.
Garcia-Frasco, however, was confident of her mother’s victory following Carpio’s pronouncement that she was not endorsing Magpale.
“I think right now it is very clear who the administration is supporting and that is the standard bearer of PDP-Laban who is Gov. Gwen Garcia. Mayor Sara’s visit only serves to reinforce what has been clear from the start which is that Gov. Gwen Garcia is the administration’s candidate,” said Garcia-Frasco.
Garcia-Frasco said that Carpio’s clarification that there was no alliance between HNP and Bakud would boost her mother’s gubernatorial bid.
Even the sisterhood ties which she entered into with Carpio was expected to solidify her town’s friendship with Davao City.
“We look up to Davao City as a big sister from whom we can really learn a lot especially in our priority agenda in education, sustainable environmental protection and disaster preparedness,” said Frasco.
She said their collaboration with Davao would hasten their goal to turn Liloan into a city in the next two years.
Liloan’s cityhood was among the priority agenda of her husband, Duke Frasco, if elected as congressman in 2019. / with reports from Correspondent Jessa Mae Sotto
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