Villar calls Cebu ‘crucial’ but won’t name bets yet

02/21/2010 - THOUGH Cebu is considered an “administration bailiwick,” Nacionalista Party (NP) presidential candidate Sen. Manny Villar said he is confident of garnering votes from Cebuanos.
In a press conference yesterday, he said Cebu remains a crucial vote-rich area, thus the need for him to strengthen his local forces.
“Napakahalaga ang (They are very valuable) Cebuano voters. Cebu is very critical and must be given priority,” he said.
He also said some local leaders have not shown their true political alignments yet, but that the NP campaign will focus more on convincing majority of the Cebuanos, not their leaders, to vote for him and his party.
NP candidates led by Villar went to two public markets in Metro Cebu yesterday morning to campaign.
Villar said he was glad about the warm welcome, particularly in the public markets of Lapu-Lapu City and Pasil, Cebu City.
Sen. Loren Legarda, Villar’s running mate, earlier appealed to voters at the Carbon Public Market in Cebu City.
Aside from her and Villar, NP senatorial candidates Gilbert Remulla, Adel Tamano, Susan Ople, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Satur Ocampo, Liza Masa and Gwen Pimentel will also be present.
Senatorial candidate Col. Ariel Querubin, who is currently detained, will be represented by his son Martin.
After the public market visits yesterday, the NP candidates and Rep. Eduardo Gullas (Cebu Province, 1st district) went to see Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal.
In an interview after the meeting, Cardinal Vidal said that Villar is a long-time friend; the visit was not meant to get his endorsement.
“He came to visit me as a friend. We have been friends since he was still in the House (until he reached) the Senate”, the cardinal said.
Vidal said he advised Villar to pray for good health, adding that it is natural for him to receive presidential aspirants, as they always seek him out for advice whenever they come to Cebu.
Despite reports of strong local candidates throwing their support behind his rivals, Villar said the NP’s local bets can contend with their opponents.
He, however, declined to reveal who are with him, saying he will do so in due time.
After visiting Cebu City yesterday, Villar and his lineup went to Toledo City. The NP will hold a rally/concert hosted by “Wowowee” game show host Willie Revillame at the North Reclamation Area tonight (Sun.Star)

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