Lakas sets major push for Gibo
By Paolo Romero
The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines – Hundreds of pro-administration lawmakers and local officials are set to make a collective push in the remaining 28 days before the May 10 elections to ensure the victory of Lakas-Kampi-CMD standard-bearer Gilbert Teodoro Jr., according to party stalwarts.
Agusan del Norte Rep. Jose Aquino II said more than 100 pro-administration lawmakers, who “stand solidly behind Teodoro,” have vowed to bring him to victory with the elections less than a month away.
“On the part of the members of the House of Representatives, especially those members of the merged Lakas-Kampi-CMD, more than a hundred congressmen, mostly first and second termers, are strongly behind the candidacy of Gilbert Teodoro,” he said.
In a statement, Aquino said lawmakers supporting Teodoro strongly believe in keeping their palabra de honor (word of honor), just like the more than half of the country’s provincial governors.
The first-term members of the House of Representatives believe that Teodoro would emerge the winner in Mindanao, he added.
Teodoro has secured the backing of Mindanao’s local chief executives, who have declared that he would likely rack up some 12 million votes or at least half of the estimated 24 million votes in the South.
The formidable support of Mindanao has given Teodoro a head-start in the race, considering that he is likely to secure, at the minimum, around 45 percent to 50 percent of the South’s estimated 24 million voters, according to Sarangani Gov. Miguel Dominguez and Davao del Norte Rep. Anton Lagdameo.
Ahead of the Lakas-Kampi-CMD national executive meeting last week, some 50 provincial governors from different political parties banded together under “G4G” or “Governors for Gibo,” to reiterate their support for Teodoro.
The governors issued a manifesto of support during a meeting of the League of Provinces of the Philippines last week.
The governors dubbed the G4G group as the “Team Palabra de Honor (Word of Honor),” as they promised not to renege on their earlier commitment to support Teodoro’s candidacy.
They declared their “steadfast conviction that Teodoro is the most qualified among all the presidential candidates” and committed to work hard for Teodoro’s “overwhelming electoral majorities in our jurisdictions.”
Michael Toledo, Teodoro’s spokesman and director of media bureau, said the Lakas-Kampi-CMD juggernaut and Teodoro’s apparent lock on the votes of students will ensure his victory on May 10.
“The formidable support our presidential candidate is garnering in his sorties in the provinces has validated our projection of a surge in his candidacy during the local campaign period when the dominant political machinery of Lakas-Kampi-CMD comes into play,” he said.
Over two-thirds of almost 19,000 running for assorted local elective positions on May 10 belong to Lakas-Kampi-CMD, Toledo said.
Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman said Lakas-Kampi-CMD has still a month away before election day to flex its muscles in the local campaign trail.
“The real survey really is conducted on election day, that’s May 10,” he said.
The effect of surveys on voting is small, he added.
Former agriculture secretary Arthur Yap, who is running for Congress representing the third district of Bohol, said Teodoro’s rating would surge as the campaign period draws to a close with the help of the local party machinery.
“We are confident that as the weeks roll by and the local campaigns are into full and high gear, makikita po natin na magbabago yung landscape (we will see changes in the landscape),” he said.
Yap said Teodoro would win in Bohol, while Pampanga Rep. Aurelio Gonzales said the administration standard- bearer will emerge the winner in his province.