Fifty-one of the country’s 82 provincial governors have formed a multi-party alliance and pledged to deliver “the highest possible number of votes” for administration presidential candidate Gilberto Teodoro Jr. in the May elections.
Signing a manifesto of support they adopted last week, the governors from the League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) said their decision to support Teodoro was reached after a thorough review of all the presidential candidates’ platforms of government, track records and qualifications.
“Having completed our review, our candidate for President has to be ‘Gibo’ Teodoro and no other, and for whom we hereby commit ourselves to campaigning nationwide, among our local constituencies—our vice-governors, our board members, mayors, vice-mayors, councilors, barangay captains and other local leaders— with the view to delivering to him the highest possible number of votes in our local areas,” the governors said in a manifesto.
They described Teodoro as the “best, brightest and most capable candidate for President in the May elections.”
Lawyer Mike Toledo, Teodoro’s spokesman, said the governors’ backing could turn the tide for Teodoro, who has been lagging in fourth place in various surveys.
“This confirms what we have been saying all along; that our campaign machinery will be the vehicle that will ensure victory in the elections because at the end of the day, as one American president said, everything in politics is local,” Toledo said in a phone interview.
He said this would become evident when the campaign for local positions kicks off on March 26 and the governors can freely campaign for Teodoro and his senatorial slate.
Among those who signed the manifesto were Governors Gwendolyn Garcia of Cebu; Amado Espino Jr. of Pangasinan; Michael Keon of Ilocos Norte; Deogracias Victor Savellano of Ilocos Sur; Teresita Lazaro of Laguna; Casimiro Ynares III of Rizal; Joey Salceda of Albay; Jesus Typoco Jr. of Camarines Norte; Aurelio Umali of Nueva Ecija; Sally Ante Lee of Sorsogon; Erico Aumentado of Bohol; Salvacion Zaldivar Perez of Antique, Ben Evardone of Eastern Samar and Miguel Dominguez of Sarangani.
“Gilberto ‘Gibo’ Teodoro Jr. has articulated a well-thought out program and vision for the Filipino people—by far the best, and only presidential aspirant who has eschewed empty platitudes and rhetoric to provide a substantive, issue-specific program on how the country can move forward and be modernized through deep-rooted reforms and change within our democratic way of life,” the manifesto said.
The others who signed the manifesto were Governors Josephine Sato of Occidental Mindoro; Telesforo Castillejos of Batanes; Alvaro Antonio of Cagayan; Bellaflor Angara Castillo of Aurora; Nestor Fongwan of Benguet; Floydelia Diasen of Kalinga; Maximo Dalog of Mt. Province; Enrique Garcia, Jr. of Bataan; Gov. Dakila Carlo Cua of Quirino; Eustaquio Bersamin of Abra; Jose Antonio Carrion of Marinduque; Arnan Panaligan of Oriental Mindoro; Mario Joel Reyes of Palawan; Natalio Beltran III of Romblon; Elisa Olga Kho of Masbate;
Governors Damian Mercado of Southern Leyte; Felipe Hilan Nava of Guimaras; Isidro Zayco of Negros Occidental; Jesus Jurdin Romualdo of Camiguin; Carlos Jericho Petilla of Leyte; Milagros Tan of Samar; Orlando Fua, Jr. of Siquijor; Carlito Marquez of Aklan;
Governors Ma. Valentina Plaza of Agusan del Sur; Vicente Pimentel, Jr. of Surigao del Sur; Sadikul Sahali of Tawi-Tawi; Mohammad Khalid Dimaporo of Lanao del Norte; Oscar Moreno of Misamis Oriental; Lakas-Kampi-CMD national president Miguel Dominguez of Sarangani; Rolando Yebes of Zamboanga del Norte; Jesus Sacdalan of North Cotabato; Aurora Cerilles of Zamboanga del Sur; Abdusakur Tan of Sulu; George Hofer of Zamboanga Sibugay; HJA Jum Akbar of Basilan; Mamintal Adiong of Lanao del Sur; Erlpe John Amante of Agusan del Norte; and Suharto Mangudadatu of Sultan Kudarat.