Poe, Escudero secure Espinosa clan support
The Espinosa family of Toledo City in western Cebu has vowed support for Senators Grace Poe and Francis Escudero, indicating that Cebu’s 3rd congressional district is not solidly behind Vice President Jejomar Binay.
Former Toledo Mayor Aurelio “Rudy” Espinosa, patriarch of the city’s Espinosa clan, also promised his family’s support for senatorial candidates Lorna Kapunan and Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno.
The Espinosa family, the first political family in Cebu to support the Poe-Escudero tandem, had breakfast with Poe’s group Wednesday.
Poe, who is running for president, and her running mate Escudero, arrived in Toledo at past 7 a.m. Wednesday to kick off their campaign in Cebu.
Kapunan and Moreno were with the group.
Escudero told a news conference that they would give special attention to Cebu, which has 2.5 million voters.
They intend to visit the province three to four times during the campaign period.
Poe said she was thankful for the support of the Espinosa family.
If elected, Poe said she would help transform Toledo City into a tourist destination. She also vowed to offer more livelihood and employment opportunities.
Incumbent Toledo City Mayor John Henry “Sonny” Osmeña earlier claimed that United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) presidential candidate and Vice President Jejomar Binay is assured of votes from Cebu’s 3rd district after receiving the support of local party One Cebu.
Espinosa said while he cannot claim that they could sway the 103,000 Toledohanon voters to support Poe, Escudero and their slate, he and his family would work hard to campaign for them.
Espinosa said it’s Poe’s sincerity as a person that convinced him and his family to support her and Escudero.
Espinosa said all he asked from them is to provide projects for Toledo City.
Espinosa’s children, former Toledo Vice mayor Arlene “Dydee” Zambo and Mark Eric Espinosa, also supported the Poe-Escudero tandem.
The two are running for the Toledo City Council under the One Cebu party.
Though their father is running as an independent mayoral candidate, Zambo said they are still supporting One Cebu party standard-bearer Winston Garcia and the entire party slate.
Toledo City has a voting population of 103,658 and is the largest in Cebu’s 3rd district.
Rep. Ace Durano of Cebu’s 5th district said other families and local parties who wish to support Poe and Escudero “will come out in their own time.”
Ace said the Bakud (Barug Alang sa Kauswagan ug Demokrasya) party will announce soon their choice for national candidates.
“That is still possible. But I think it’s more practical for the Bakud leadership to decide and just campaign [for the supported national candidates],” he said in a text message.
Poe said she received no word from the Bakud Party on their decision. She said she leaves it to the party to make the announcement.
Asked if she was worried about One Cebu’s support to Binay, Poe said it would only mean they will have to work harder to reach more people.
But she recalled securing a large vote from Cebu in 2013 even without backing from a major political party.
After the press conference, Poe and Escudero went to the University of the Visayas (UV) Toledo City campus for a dialog with 300 students.
Poe and her group left Toledo City on board a chopper for Camotes Islands at 10:30 a.m. where they met local officials there.
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