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Gullas step back

By: Jhunnex Napallacan August 28,2015 - 01:14 AM

He says ‘free zone’ in 1st district will avoid conflict between  Liberals, Alayon and unite votes for  Roxas

Cebu 1st Dist. Rep. Samsam Gullas accompanies DILG Secretary Mar Roxas in one of his visits in Cebu. (CDN PHOTO/ LITO TECSON)

Cebu 1st Dist. Rep. Samsam Gullas accompanies DILG Secretary Mar Roxas in one of his visits in Cebu. (CDN PHOTO/ LITO TECSON)

To avoid a full-blown conflict between Alayon and the Liberal Party in Cebu’s 1st district, Rep. Gerald  Anthony “Samsam” Gullas Jr. said he was “willing to step back” and let the area be declared a free zone.

Gullas confirmed that he was designated as LP’s district leader in lieu of San Fernando Mayor Antonio Canoy.

But in a statement, Gullas, who belongs to Alayon, said he was aware that his new role has dismayed LP local leaders and that ensuing “chaos”  could pull down votes for LP standard bearer Mar Roxas.

“Let the district be a free zone so everyone can support Secretary Mar, Gov. Junjun (Davide III) and Vice Gov. Agnes (Magpale) to ensure a huge win in the 1st district of Cebu. I am willing to take a step back while the whole district be declared a free zone so all of Sec. Mar’s  supporters will help him be the next president of the Philippines,” Gullas said.

The 1st district in south Cebu  is anchored by Talisay City and includes Carcar City, Naga City and towns of San Fernando and Sibonga.

A free zone would allow aspirants of both parties to run without being beholden to prior commitments to support candidates in specific contests.

In this case, LP and their new allies in Alayon would unite behind Roxas for the presidency, but still have different candidates for municipal or city races.

“Being the district leader, I am given the privilege to evaluate and appoint the candidates for mayor of the Liberal Party in the 1st district,” said Gullas.

“However, I am not unmindful of the fact that some members of the Liberal Party have expressed dismay over me being the district leader, having hailed from a different party before,” he added.

READ: Davide: We will resolve ‘problematic’ 1st district | Davide assures LP will remain intact

Gullas said there were discussions to have him run for congress as the LP standard bearer and to let mayors fend for themselves in a free zone.

“I will never leave my (Alayon) mayors behind,” said Gullas.

“I wouldn’t want to be an official candidate while my mayors fight it out in a free zone.  I will stick it out with them every step of the way.”

Gullas said he was also aware that if he favors Alayon mayors as the official LP bets, “this will cause chaos in our different LGUs” because of opposition from other supporters of Roxas, Davide and Magpale.

“When the dust will settle…Mar will suffer the most, and it is Alayon’s main priority that Sec. Mar will win heavily in the 1st district of Cebu. That is why I’m willing to take a step back.”


Canoy said he was disappointed by the recent decision appointing the 30-year-old grandson of former Rep. Eduardo Gullas as the LP’s district leader.

As LP’s stalwart in a district dominated by the Gullas-Alayon party, Canoy questioned how a free zone would settle the question of aspirants of Alayon and LP running for the same local posts.

“It only showed that he is too young to make that decision,” said Canoy.  “I throw back these questions: What will happen in this free zone?  Will we all run under LP?  Does it mean the LP will hand over certificates of nominations to us as well as them (in Alayon)? Can that be done?” Canoy said in a radio interview.

Canoy said he would consult with lawyers first about the consequences of a free zone in his district.

“I helped LP from 2010 to 2013. Now that I am running for Congress, they abandon me,”  Canoy said.

He said he was all the more determined to run against the young Gullas.

The 1st district political setup is indeed “problematic,” said Governor Davide earlier.  As LP province chairman, Davide said he was determined to resolve the quandary in meetings with local leaders.

According to Canoy, Naga City Mayor Valdemar Chiong, a Gullas ally, said three days ago that Secretary Roxas would officially announce Gullas’ appointment as district chairman.

But Roxas left Cebu City after Monday’s rally in the Cebu Coliseum dubbed  “A Gathering of Friends” without doing so.

READ: How will Roxas deal with Liberal Party quandary in Cebu?

In the interview yesterday, Canoy declined to answer if he would run as an independent if LP chooses Gullas over him.

Canoy said he considers himself an LP member for now since no one told him about Gullas’ appointment.

He said he’s willing to meet with Governor Davide but won’t initiate a meeting with him.

Canoy didn’t hide his disappointment in Davide as LP Cebu province chairman for the current impasse.

“Luoy intawon ko kaayo, pwerteng luoya nako  (I’m really in a pitiful state),” he said.  “Ila kong gisalikway intawon.”  (They just rejected me.)

He recalled being the only mayor in the 1st district who stood by Davide in 2010 when Davide first ran but lost to Gwendolyn Garcia.

“Being a leader, iya untang barugan ko.  Kami dugay na mi nga kaila, since 2010 ako ra’y mibarog niya diha sa 2010, ako ra’y  mayor nga mibarog niya sa 2013 (As a leader, he should stand by me.

We’ve known each other since 2010. I was the only one who supported him in the district, and the only mayor who stood by him in 2013),” he said.


Canoy said he already has LP candidates set in every town and city in the first district.

His son, San Fernando Vice Mayor Miguel Antonio Canoy will run for mayor.  Talisay City Mayor Johnny delos Reyes will seek re-election.

There’s former Mayor Marlo Cañada in Minglanilla, Councilor Vince del Mar for Naga City and Councilor Joji Ponce in Sibonga.

In Carcar City, he asked Provincial Board (PB) Member Raul Alcoseba to name a candidate.

Gullas, meanwhile, said “our task and sole responsibility, other than campaigning for the party, is to secure, at the most, the presidency of Mar Roxas, the governorship of Junjun Davide and Vice Governor Magpale.”

“I do not want that internal conflict may arise so as to cause trouble (to their candidacies),” he said.

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TAGS: Cebu 1st district, Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III, governance, Liberal Party, politics, Samsam Gullas

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