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After abandoning Binay, One Cebu backs Duterte

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(Photo from sunstar.com.ph)

 

CEBU CITY ―After severing ties with Vice President Jejomar Binay, the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) presidential candidate, the One Cebu Party led by the Garcia family shifted its support to Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

 

One Cebu Party head and gubernatorial bet Winston Garcia said his party will deliver one million votes for Duterte, the standard-bearer of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino -Lakas ng Bayan and the only Cebuano-speaking presidential candidate.

 

Duterte and Garcia met in Cebu and firmed up their alliance. Garcia told reporters his party will do for Duterte what it did for former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in 2004.

 

Arroyo got a million votes in Cebu in that election where she faced off with veteran actor Fernando Poe Jr.

 

Duterte is ecstatic over the endorsement. "Kabahan na kayo,'' he said.

 

The camp of Duterte expressed its gratitude to the Winston Garcia-led One Cebu which finally decided to throw its support to the presidential bid of the former.

 

"We welcome expression of support of any individual, organization or party because ours is an inclusive campaign," said Duterte's national campaign manager Leoncio Evasco, who is also the outgoing mayor of Maribojoc, Bohol.

 

He confirmed that Duterte and One Cebu's Garcia, candidate for governor in the vote-rich province of Cebu, met on Saturday evening.

 

Cebu's leading dailies earlier reported the meeting and quoted Garcia as having thrown his support to Duterte, two weeks after dumping United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) presidential candidate Jejomar Binay.

 

Evasco, however, has advised to wait for the official announcement from the Davao City mayor himself.

 

"I do not want to pre-empt any decision from the mayor if the manifestation of support will be reciprocated," he added.

 

But he said this is a welcome development as the Duterte campaign moves to a high gear as the Election Day nears.

 

Duterte was in Cebu over the weekend for the second time in as many weeks to consolidate his support base.

 

He was quoted as saying "Kabahan na sila" (they - his opponents - should be worried) after his meeting with Garcia.

 

He was earlier welcomed by Toledo City mayor and former Senator John Osmena who said Duterte could corner at least one million of the province's 2.7 million votes.

 

Osmena is identified with UNA but said the people of Cebu are rallying behind one of their own.

 

Duterte is the only Cebuano-speaking candidate and also hails from Mindanao where he has been mayor of Davao City for over 22 years.

 

Duterte's father was from nearby Danao City and his uncle Ramon was former city mayor of Cebu.

 

Garcia said that the party reached its decision to throw its support behind Duterte after meeting with him late Saturday, during which it "became a logical and clear stand for One Cebu to support one of its own, and a Bisaya for president."

 

He added that One Cebu's platform, ideals and vision are in perfect sync with the Duterte-Cayetano's platform of government, especially on infrastructure.

 

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