Local bets start campaign trail
BOTH the Liberal Party (LP) Cebu chapter and their ally the Alayon party of the Gullas family launched their campaign sorties in Argao town and Carcar City respectively yesterday.
At the Argao town plaza, incumbent Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III promised to continue his six-point agenda on health and social services, countryside development, educational and vocational training, environmental protection and disaster risk management, infrastructure development, and law and order if he gets reelected.
Davide, LP’s standard-bearer in the province, said he will make sure all 16 provincial and district hospitals become better equipped.
“We will continue to provide free health care services to indigents through the zero-billing policy and point-of-care program. There’s a minimal cost for paying patients, but the balance is covered by PhilHealth,” he said in a press conference at the public plaza of Argao town, southern Cebu yesterday.
Present during the kickoff were reelectionist Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale, Rep. Wilfredo Caminero of Cebu’s 2nd district, Provincial Board (PB) candidates and LP’s mayoral bets in the district.
The plaza was not filled with people. There were no trucks carrying supporters from various barangays in the town. The caravan was preceded by a Mass at the St. Michael the Archangel’s Parish.
Davide first ran and won against One Cebu’s Pablo John Garcia, who is now seeking the 7th congressional seat.
This year, Davide will be running against former Government Security Insurance System (GSIS) head Winston Garcia of One Cebu, Pablo John’s brother.
One Cebu launched its campaign one day ahead, with its local slate in Borbon town introducing themselves to prospective voters last Sunday.
Instead of a grand caravan where all provincial candidates are present, One Cebu will have separate campaign kickoffs in each town or city.
The Garcia camp is accusing the Davide administration of neglect following the death of several patients in different province-run hospitals last year.
One Cebu also accused Davide of having done nothing for the Cebuanos in the last three years.
Davide said these pronouncements are only meant to destroy his administration’s reputation and his constituents know what the provincial government has done for them. “Sugbuanons will not fall for this kind of deception,” the governor said.
Davide also said he will take into serious consideration proposals to put up a Trans-Axial Highway in Cebu if he is reelected.
Rep. Caminero promised to put up more farm-to-market roads and multi-purpose buildings in the province.
Today the LP contingent will hold sorties from Barili to Dumanjug towns. Dumanjug is known as a bailiwick of the influential Garcia clan.
LP coordinator Ramil Abing said they chose to hold a rally in Dumanjug town because it is part of the newly created 7th district. “Since it is new, the congressional race is very crucial,” he said.
PB member Peter John Calderon will run against One Cebu’s Pablo John Garcia, former 3rd district representative.
Dumanjug has a voting population of almost 32,000 while Badian, whose Mayor Robburt Librando is allied with One Cebu, has a voting population of almost 24,000.
The two towns have a greater number of registered voters compared to the rest of the 7th district combined. In Carcar City, the Gullas-led Alayon party launched a sortie after opening their caravan in Talisay City last Sunday.
Rep. Gerald Anthony “Samsam” Gullas of Cebu’s 1st district said they will hold a grand rally to be attended by LP standard-bearer Mar Roxas.
For his part, Talisay City mayoralty candidate Romeo Villarante is scheduled to have their caravan on April 3 in Talisay City.
His slate will attend a 6:30 a.m. Mass before the caravan kickoff at 8 a.m.
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