While he was being introduced as the Liberal Party’s (LP) candidate for the Cebu governorship, Hilario “Junjun” Davide III didn’t have support from an old guard of the Osmeña clan.
During yesterday’s assembly of Provincial Board (PB) members, Transportation and Communications Secretary Mar Roxas who is the party’s national president introduced Davide as “the soon-to-be governor of Cebu.”
In a separate press conference, former senator John Henry “Sonny” Osmeña said he would campaign for someone more “aggressive” to replace Davide.
Davide III told Cebu Daily News that the LP national headquarters is monitoring the political situation in Cebu and he advised their local allies to start preparations for next year’s election.
He declined to comment on Osmeña’s lack of confidence in him and said he would issue a statement later today.
Davide said Roxas, the LP’s national president, is aware of negotiations between their group and the Barug Alang sa Kauswagan ug Demokrasya (Bakud) Party for a possible tactical alliance in the 2013 elections in Cebu, particularly for Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale of Bakud.
Davide said yesterday’s gathering of the Noy-Mar volunteers at Marriott Hotel was the first after the May 2010 elections.
Roxas was in Cebu yesterday morning as keynote speaker in the PB members assembly held at Waterfront Hotel. He arrived at the venue together with Davide.
Roxas told the 200 board members present that he is not “politicking” since most of them are not voters of Cebu.
In an interview, Roxas said he met with “old friends” from Cebu yesterday at the Marriott.
Present during the gathering was lawyer Augusto Go, chairman emeritus of the Noy-Mar volunteers in Cebu.
While the Cebu LP are marshaling their forces, Osmeña held a press conference to announced that he withdrew his support for Davide.
“Davide has failed to impart to the national LP administration, the importance of cleansing. we need an assertive and aggressive local leadership,” he said.
Osmeña said he found Davide to be passive, timid and insensitive.
“He is a good man but he is not a good leader . . . I want a leader who will bring CEBOOM… Liberal Orig as against Liberal Bogok,” he told reporters.
Osmeña said he was looking at five local Cebuano leaders to lead LP.
He mentioned Cebu Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale, Bogo City Mayor Celestino “Junie” Martinez, Rep. Luigi Quisumbing of Cebu’s 6th district, former tourism secretary Ace Durano, and Rep. Benhur Salimbangon of Cebu’s 4th district as candidates.
Osmeña said he wanted a leader with a track record. Davide is a three-term Cebu City councilor and a lawyer.
“I therefore will start going around the province to marshal support for an alternative to Davide,” said Sonny.
Rep. Tomas Osmeña of Cebu City’s south district dismissed Sonny’s statements.
“Sonny is unpredictable and therefore unreliable. But he has nowhere to go,” he said in a text message to Cebu Daily News.
Mayor Martinez said he was a party man and would stil support Davide’s run for the governorship.
He said he hopes Sonny Osmeña would reconsider his decision.
Martinez said he and other LP officials met with Roxas to raise their concerns.
Among these concerns is the hold-over officials of the previous Arroyo administration who continue to support e officials identified with Arroyo.
“Our district engineers would campaign for (Rep. Benhur) Salimbangon (of Cebu’s 4th district) to get funding for their projects,” Martinez said.
He admitted that Roxas would refer the problem to Davide.
“Instead of a concrete solution, they would endorse it to Junjun Davide and he would only agree,” Martinez said. /By Carmel Loise Matus, Correspondent