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CEBU CITY, Philippines – “Cebu, historically, is against Marcos and will remain that way,” said Noel Tabasa in a press conference on Sunday, April 17, in Lahug, Cebu City.
Tabasa is the spokesperson of the Anti-Bongbong Marcos Coalition (ABC) in Cebu.
Cebu’s opposition to the Marcoses is indeed historic, Tabasa told Rappler.
Tabasa was once arrested by Marcos for denouncing the late-dictator in a rally in the late 1970s.
In 2016, he’s campaigning against Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr’s bid for the second-highest post in the Philippines.
He elaborated that during the first Interim Batasang Pambansa in 1978, a group called ‘Pusyon Bisaya’ became the representative of the Central Visayan people. All 13 members of Pusyon Bisaya, including Hilario Davide Jr and Natalio Bacalso, fought against the dictatorship regime.
Tabasa said Cebu served as a stronghold for democracy during martial law.
In 2014, Malacañang decided to hold the commemoration of the EDSA Revolution in Cebu instead of the customary celebration in EDSA itself.
Tabasa is confident that Cebu will remain anti-Marcos. He said that proof of this is how Leni Robredo is presently leading while Marcos is last in the Visayas polls of SWS and Pulse Asia.
“Marcos is not in the picture in Visayas,” Tabasa told Rappler.
In the latest SWS/Bilang Pilipino surveys, Robredo led candidates in the Visayas, with 36%, followed by Escudero (24%), Marcos (18%), Cayetano (15%), Trillanes (4%), and Honasan (1%).
In a press conference yesterday in Lahug, Cebu City, Tabasa addressed a particular message to Marcos saying, “Cebu is not for sale.”
“It’s an open secret na, whether we like it or not, hugaw man gyud atong politics. So sato pa, naa gyud na ang pamalitay ug mga boto,” Tabasa told Rappler. “What I am saying is kinsa man ang daghan ug kwarta karun? Kinsa man ang daghan ug kwarta tungod sa kinawat gikan ra pud sa atong mga kaugalingong government coffers?”
(It’s an open secret that, whether we like it or not, our politics is dirty. So there is going to be vote-buying this election. What I am saying is who has a lot of money today? Who has a lot of money stolen from our own government coffers?)
ABC held an event entitled “Cebu Against Marcos – The Concert” on Sunday, April 17 at Plaza Independencia Cebu City. EDSA veterans Noel Cabangon and Jim Paredes performed in the free concert.
They sang songs reminiscent of the EDSA Revolution era to remind FIlipinos not to vote for the younger Marcos.
“What I am saying, bisan daghan pa ug kwarta si Bongbong, I believe nga Cebu will not sell their votes to Bongbong Marcos. Because even before nga kadaghan ug kwarta ni President Ferdinand Marcos wala man gihapon moboto ang mga Cebuano sa ilaha. Bongbong Marcos cannot buy the votes of Cebuanos because we are a very proud people. I stand on that statement,” Tabasa told Rappler.
(What I am saying is even if Bongbong has a lot of money, I believe Cebu will not sell their votes to him. Because even before when President Ferdinand Marcos had a lot of money, Cebuanos still did not vote for him. Bongbong cannot buy the votes of Cebuanos because we are very proud people. I stand on that statement.)
The group will continue to organize events and gatherings with the purpose of either stopping Bongbong Marcos from becoming the next vice-president or having him cancel his candidacy.
Who is the group supporting? “Anyone but Bongbong,” the organizers said.
According to a Rappler editorial, however, the anti-Marcos movement may be starting this too late in the game, as it hasn’t chosen a common candidate to support and highlight as an alternative. – Rappler.com