CEBU, Philippines – The appearance of presidential candidate Vice President Leni Robredo at a for Cebu bet for governor Ace Durano and his running mate Hilario “Junjun” Davide III rally on Tuesday, April 26, has been canceled.
Cebu Vice Governor Hilario “Junjun” Davide III announced the cancellation of her visit in a statement on Monday night, April 25.
Davide apologized to Robredo’s Cebuano supporters who were expecting her to appear at the rally after it was publicized that she would be there.
“Sa mga Sugbuanon nga nag suporta ni Vice President Leni Robredo, mangayo kog pasaylo ug pagsabot kaninyo nga dili madayon ang iyang pagbisita karong adlawa aron motambong sa atong A Better Cebu grand rally sa Talisay City,” Davide said.
(To our Cebuano supporters of Vice President Leni Robredo, I apologize and ask for understanding from all of you that her visit will not push through to our “A Better Cebu” grand rally in Talisay City.)
He said the reason was that his partner’s party Partido Pilipino sa Pagbabago was supporting another presidential candidate.
“Since the Partido Pilipino sa Pagbabago of my partner, gubernatorial aspirant Ace Durano, has decided to support another presidential candidate, it is obvious that he is bound to follow the organization’s endorsement,” Davide said.
The party, formed only in 2021, announced on Saturday, April 23, that they would be supporting Ferdinand Marcos Jr. They originally supported Senator Christopher “Bong” Go for president and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte for vice president.
As early as Saturday, April 23, several social media posts from different supporters and volunteer groups had already posted social media cards announcing Robredo’s visit.
The rally will continue as scheduled at the St. Scholastica Academy in Talisay City. It would have been Robredo’s third visit to the province.
Robredo had met with Ace and the Durano family in Danao last Thursday, April 21, before appearing in a mini rally at Danao City Hall in the afternoon.
The meeting fueled rumors of an endorsement, especially after it was announced that Robredo was supposed to come back to Cebu on Tuesday for the rally.
The announcement comes less than a week after her supporters turned up in huge numbers at her grand rally in Mandaue City last Thursday. Organizers estimate at least 150,000 attended the grand rally.
Cebu is the most vote-rich province in the Philippines with at least 3.2 million voters.
The endorsement would have been a boost to Robredo’s campaign in Cebu as survey frontrunner Marcos Jr. had already secured the endorsement of dominant Garcia-led party One Cebu.
Davide was the first incumbent Cebu politician to express his support for Robredo’s candidacy as soon as she officially filed to run for president last October 2021.
So far, only San Remigio town Mayor Mar Martinez and Dumanjug Mayor Gungun Gica have publicly come out to support Robredo in Cebu.
Durano apologized to Robredo’s supporters in a statement on Facebook a few minutes before midnight on Monday.
“In her recent visit to Cebu, Vice President Leni Robredo acknowledged the CPDA and for that we’re truly grateful. We’re also thankful that she considered coming to our #AbetterCebu event tomorrow in Talisay,” Durano said.
The CPDA refers to the Cebu Priority Development Agenda, which was an economic platform put together by 300 local sectoral leaders and adopted by the Durano-Davide tandem as their official platform.
“As such, we apologize to those who expected VP Leni to attend such gathering,” Durano said.
The former tourism secretary said the reason for the cancellation was that PPP declared their support for Marcos only after he met with Robredo in Danao last Thursday.
“The Partido Pilipino sa Pagbabago, the national party that I am part of, recently posted a manifesto of its support for BBM. It was published two days ago and I was personally informed by PPP national chairman only late afternoon yesterday. We informed VP Leni’s camp of this development right after,” Durano said.
“Despite this, it has not changed our goal to continue our movement for #AbetterCEbu, and we will continue to do so until we achieve this together with you,” he added.
Durano is challenging reelectionist Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia for the province’s top post. Garcia was officially endorsed by Marcos Jr. during UniTeam’s grand rally hosted by One Cebu which was held in Cebu City last April 18. – Rappler.com