EVEN with Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale’s public appearances with Liberal Party stalwarts, and looking comfortable in their company, she’s the choice for the rival party One Cebu in 2013.
That’s the benefit of the “equity of the incumbent” rule: that allies in power get first crack to seek reelection as the party candidate.
Magpale, who belongs to the Durano-led Bakud party, has yet to announce whether she will pair up with LP gubernatorial bet Hilario Davide III or One’ Cebu’s Pablo John Garcia.
“Bakud is an ally,” said Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia in a news conference yesterday.
“As I said, whoever is the choice of Bakud, we will respect the decision. Second, Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale is an incumbent. One Cebu will support all incumbent officials belonging to One Cebu who will make a reelection bid and also the incumbent officials of our allies,”she said.
The governor said if there is no incumbent, the choice would be based on “consensus” of the part.
“As far as allies of One Cebu are concerned, then we would respect the choice of our allies,” she added.
Meanwhile, Garcia said it was “premature” to consider her brother Winston Garcia for the for the 3rd congresssional district that will be vacated when Rep. Pablo John Garcia runs for governor in 2013.
She expressed surprise that Winston’s name was floated as they haven’t talked about it.
“It is a bit premature to present his name. That was not an official statement from One Cebu and more so not from me. I guess in an atmosphere of much speculations, a lot of names come up but I want to categorically state that the statement did not come from me nor from the party,” she said.
“Of course he is very qualified to run but whether he would be interested to run, that is another story. So I think it is really premature to disclose his name.”
Asked if she and Winston, former president of the Government Service Insurance Service (GSIS), had communicated, she replied: “No…That is why it is very surprising to find and see his name and his photo in the front page. I think he would just be as surprised.”
It was another brother, Mayor Nelson Garcia of Dumanjug in the 2nd district who floated the idea in another daily, where he was quoted as saying Winston was the “best candidate” since the family was “united now”.
Gwen said the One Cebu’s candidate would be announced “in due time.”
Gwen had a falling out with brothers Winston and Byron during the 2010 elections when they supported different presidential candidates, who eventually lost.
She campaigned for Gilbert Teodoro while they supported Manuel Villar, whom she blamed for polarizing the clan.
In one one campaign rally, Gwen vowed to “stand on every stage that I can find in this entire province of Cebu and publicly condemn him (Villar) for having broken apart our own family, for having driven a wedge in our family.”
One Cebu’s decision to “reserve” the slot of no. 2 for Vice Governor Magpale acknowledges the clout of the Duranos in the the 5th district which counts Danao city and 10 northern towns, drawing 281,000 votes.
Pablo John Garcia said she was the “logical choice” as an incumbent and member of the Barug Alang sa Kauswagan ug Demokrasya (Bakud) whose 2010 alliance with One Cebu continued.
However, Magpale was not present in the April 26 consultation of One Cebu with mayors in Marco Polo Plaza where the announcement of Gwen’s Senate bid and Pablo John’s gubernatorial plans was made.
Magpale said she didn’t know about the meeting or receive an invitation. /Dale G. Israel, Reporter