Binay, Poe, Roxas to visit vote-rich Cebu
MANILA, Philippines – The media spotlight will be on the province of Cebu on Monday, August 24, as not just one, but 3 top contenders for the presidency visit the vote-rich island.
Opposition standard-bearer Vice President Jejomar Binay, administration standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II, and neophyte senator Grace Poe, widely believed to be planning her own “independent” campaign, will all be in the province for separate engagements.
Binay, who flew to Cebu province on Sunday, August 23, will be visiting several barangays in the cities of Toledo and Talisay on Monday. Poe, meanwhile, will be attending the University of San Carlos’ Foundation Week celebration, according to her office.
Roxas will be joined by President Benigno Aquino III for another “Gathering of Friends” at the Cebu Coliseum, a repeat of the July 31 “Gathering of Friends” at Club Filipino in San Juan City, Metro Manila. During the Monday event, Aquino is expected to court the support of Visayas politicians and multi-sectoral groups in behalf of Roxas.
Prior to the event with the President, Roxas will be joined by his fellow Cabinet Secretaries for a “Daang Matuwid People’s Dialogue” at the Cebu Normal University.
Of the 3, only Poe has yet to declare her plans for 2016, but if public speeches and interviews with media are any hint, the newbie senator is sure to seek the country’s highest-elected post.
A visit to Cebu is but expected for those seeking the presidency. The island had over 2.5 million registered voters during the 2013 senatorial elections, making it the most vote-rich province, and the biggest voting population outside the National Capital Region.
The last weeks of August is also a time for surveys: it is during this time the country's top survey firms are conducting their polls on presidential preferences in time for a September release, sources told Rappler.
To be sure, it isn’t the first time for any of the 3 to visit the “Queen City of the South” and its nearby towns. Binay has visited the province several times over the past few months while Roxas was in Cebu a few weeks ago.
It’s the first time, however, that the 3 visited the province at the same time in the lead-up to the 2016 polls.
The Poes and the Garcias
The importance of Cebu come 2016 is clear to the 3. It is, after all, the province that former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo credits for her victory.
It was in Cebu where Arroyo won big and where her primary opponent, Poe’s father, actor Fernando Poe, Jr., lost badly in an election that was suspected to have been rigged by Arroyo’s local allies.
It’s a memory that stings for the senator, who turned emotional during a 2013 campaign rally in Cebu. Poe, who was a common candidate of both the Liberal Party (LP)-led administration ticket and the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), shunned the latter’s campaign rally.
"Bakit ako hindi sumama sa Cebu sa ibang entablado? Sapagkat napakasakit po ng nagawa nila noong nakaraan,” Poe said in 2013, alluding to the Garcias of Cebu, who are allied with UNA.
(Why didn’t I join other rallies? It’s because what they did in the past still hurts)
Gwendolyn Garcia and her father, Pablo Garcia, were all in power during the 2004 presidential elections. Poe, who topped the 2013 senatorial polls, placed 4th in Cebu.
Cebu: UNA or LP?
Although the UNA-affiliated Garcias still dominate the province, Cebu turned out to be a stronghold for Aquino and the LP-led administration coalition in 2013.
Ten of the administration’s 2013 senatorial bets won in the vote-rich province, currently headed by an LP ally, Governor Hilario Davide, III.
Aquino and Roxas won in Cebu during the 2010 elections – the President with 980,000 votes and Roxas with 1 million. They were then backed by the local Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan.
Binay, meanwhile, lost badly in Cebu during the 2010 polls, only getting a little over 400,000 votes.
Over the past year, Binay has paid special attention to Cebu, visiting the province several times. The Vice President, who is the subject of a year-long Senate probe into allegations of corruption, once skipped attending a hearing in favor of doing the rounds in Cebu. – Rappler.com
Who won in the 2016 Philippine elections?
Check out the 2016 official election results through the link below:
- 2016 official election results for Presidential, Vice Presidential, Senatorial, and Party list elections
Check out the 2016 unofficial election results for the national and local races through the links below
- 2016 Philippine Presidential Elections
- 2016 Philippine Vice Presidential Elections
- 2016 Philippine Senatorial Elections
- 2016 Philippine Congressional Elections
- 2016 Party List Elections
- 2016 Philippine Local Elections