Rep. Gabriel “Luigi” Quisumbing of Cebu’s 6th district will be sworn into the Liberal Party today in Manila, ending weeks of speculation that he was joining the administration camp of President Aquino.
“The entry of Luigi is a very welcome move,” said Hilario Davide III, LP’s Cebu province chairman.
“I have been saying before that I want to strengthen the party in the province. So with Luigi in, this would strengthen the party.”
Quisumbing ran and won in 2010 as a new member of the One Cebu party headed by Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, bringing with him political and financial assets of his clan as the grandson of business magnate Norberto Quisumbing Jr.
His 6th district includes Mandaue City and towns of Cordova and Consolacion with 224,000 votes of Cebu province’s 1.4 million votes.
The bachelor congressman, a first-time legislator, was not available for comment last night. Davide confirmed his oath-taking scheduled today in Manila.
Before his entry, LP counted only two Cebu congressmen in its fold – Cebu City’s Tomas Osmeña (south district) and Cutie del Mar (north district).
Most of Cebu province’s six congressional districts are allied with One Cebu.
The shifting political landscape is a prelude to general elections in May 2013, and positioning for the next presidential election in 2016.
Governor Gwendolyn Garcia is set to formally declare an alliance of One Cebu with the National Union Party of Vice President Jejomar Binay
The Garcias count in their alliance:
1st district Rep. Eduardo Gullas of the Nacionalista Party and the local Alayon party;
2nd district Rep. Pablo Garcia;
3rd district Rep. Pablo John Garcia;
4th district Rep. Benhur Salimbangon; and
5th district Rep. Red Durano of Bakud and the Nationalist People’s Coalition.
The lone district of Lapu-Lapu of Rep. Arturo Radaza is with the Lakas-CMD Party.
“We took him in in 2010 and he displaced other One Cebu stalwarts who were interested in running,” said Rep. Pablo John Garcia, secretary general of One Cebu in a text message.
“So if he jumps to LP, it might also simplify things in the 6th district.”
Quisumbing’s entry into the LP was talked about for weeks after hints were dropped by Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes and Vice Mayor Glenn Bercede.
Last Tuesday, Quisumbing was seen during the launching of a feeding program in Mandaue City with Cortes, Provincial Board (PB) Member Arleigh Sitoy, and Consolacion Mayor Teresa Alegado who are all LP members. /Dale G. Israel, Senior Reporter