INC endorses mixed ticket for Cebu
IT’S Osmeña-Labella for Cebu City and Garcia-Magpale for the province for members of the bloc-voting Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) in Cebu, officials of Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK), Team Rama and One Cebu claimed.
Sources from the three political camps said that they were informed of the INC endorsements in separate meetings with an INC official this week inside the sect’s main church along Gen. Maxilom Avenue.
BO-PK founder and former Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña confirmed his endorsement by the sect as city mayor. INC, according to Osmeña also supports the bid of his wife, Margarita “Margot”, who is seeking reelection as city councilor.
He also confirmed INC’s endorsement of BO-PK’s candidates for the two congressional seats in the north and south districts of the city – incumbent Reps. Raul Del Mar and Rodrigo Abellanosa.
“Yes, I can confirm. I’m very grateful especially that they are voting as a bloc. If each member can bring two voters each, okay na oi,” Osmeña told Cebu Daily News in a phone interview.
Sought for comment, Mayor Michael Rama, who is seeking reelection, said that while he respects the sect’s decision, he will just have to work harder to campaign for himself and the other Team Rama candidates.
“I can’t do anything. But the last time (election), they supported my opponent, but I won. It should have been additional votes though,” Rama told CDN in a phone interview.
Over at the Cebu provincial race, One Cebu gubernatorial bet Winston Garcia and reelectionist Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale (Liberal Party) both claimed in a dyLA radio interview that they have the support of INC in next week’s elections.
The reported INC endorsement for Garcia did not seem to worry the LP.
Reelectonist Gov. Hilario Davide III said that he respects the INC decision even though he wasn’t chosen as the sect’s bet.
“I am still grateful to them because they supported me in the last two elections,” Davide said.
“The governor will still get a huge lead against his opponent (Garcia),”Vice Governor Agnes Magpal, Davide’s running mate said, adding that she is not worried that the INC is not supporting Davide.
For Cebu City councilors, Osmeña said that the INC decided to “equally divide” their endorsements – eight for BO-PK and eight for Team Rama.
Reelectionist Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella (Team Rama) also confirmed his endorsement from the sect.
“They informed me. I’m happy and elated that the INC has given me their trust and confidence to continue serving the people of Cebu. Considering that they vote as one, it would significantly help me,” Labella said. Based on Comelec data, there are a total of 630,006 registered voters in Cebu City – 290,763 in the north district and 339,243 in the south district.
INC can deliver around 9,000 votes in the north district and 11,000 votes in the south district of Cebu City, Daluz claimed.
“Let’s DO it”
Meanwhile, a group of BO-PK supporters endorsed a (Rodrigo)Duterte- (Tomas)Osmena tandem yesterday.
The group which calls itself, “Let’s DO (Duterte-Osmeña) it,” said in a press conference that Osmeña and Duterte both have a similar style of governance.
Sought for comment about the group, Osmeña said that his choice still remains to be LP standard bearer Mar Roxas.
“Duterte has the people’s sympathy. Personally, I like the guy but Mar is better. Duterte is better in peace and order but as far as I’m concerned, I’m all for Mar,” Osmeña said.
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