Aquino: Cebu is not a ‘free zone’ in 2013

Rappler.com
Aquino dismisses reports that LP has no operations funds to distribute to local candidates

MANILA, Philippines – “Why are we going to declare a free zone here (Cebu)?”

This was declared by President Benigno Aquino III on Friday, November 30, in a press conference with Liberal Party (LP) candidates in Cebu, to dismiss the claims made by Deputy Speaker and 2nd district Rep. Pablo Garcia that the province will be a free zone in 2013.

Free zones are declared when political parties don’t officially endorse candidates in local races because they are coalesced at the national level for senatorial or presidential races. 

“Look who’s with me. These are the candidates of the Liberal Party. My first agenda when I got here, straight from the airport, was to meet them,” Aquino told reporters after a meeting with the local LP members.

Hilario “Junjun” Davide III, son and namesake of a former Supreme Court chief justice, is LP’s gubernatorial candidate in the province. He ran for the same position in 2010, but he lost to then re-electionist Gov Gwen Garcia.

For 2013, Davide will run against incumbent Cebu 3rd District Rep Pablo John Garcia, younger brother of the outgoing Gov Gwen and himself a former governor. Pablo John is with the National Unity Party, a breakaway of Gloria Arroyo’s Lakas-Kampi that has since supported the LP.

Aside from Davide and Garcia, there are two independents seeking the governorship: Hermelito Bulala and Roliveth Cortes.

Aquino also dismissed reports that LP has no campaign funds to distribute to local candidates.

“We cannot run the campaign without minimum [funds]… The organization is very capable, and the party is ably represented in Cebu,” Aquino added.

Aquino said he is leaving it to LP president Mar Roxas to discuss funding for the local bets. – Rappler.com

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