FORMER Government Service Insurance System chief Winston Garcia of the One Cebu party on Sunday vowed to deliver one million votes to presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte.
Garcia, who is facing graft raps before the Sandiganbayan for awarding the GSIS eCard project to Union Bank of the Philippines in May 2004, announced the full support of One Cebu party to Duterte and his running mate Alan Peter Cayetano.
The party members reached the decision to back Duterte after a recent meeting, during which it “became a logical and clear stand for One Cebu to support one of its own,” Garcia said.
“WinNer ta, Duterte pa,” he said.
Garcia made his statement even as Bohol Mayor Leoncio Evasco, Duterte’s national campaign manager, said he was happy to hear that the Garcia-led One Cebu had finally decided to throw its support behind the Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
“We welcome the expression of support of any individual, organization or party because ours is an inclusive campaign,” said Evasco, the outgoing mayor of Maribojoc town here.
He confirmed that Duterte and One Cebu’s Winston Garcia, a candidate for governor in the vote-rich province of Cebu, met late Saturday night.
Peter Laviña, Duterte’s spokesman, said Duterte’s rivals were “already running scared” over One-Cebu’s support of him.
“We expect more mudslinging as the scared camps try to stop this bandwagon,” Laviña said.
Duterte traces his roots to the vote-rich Cebu City of 2.7 million registered voters, where his father Vicente became mayor.
The Dutertes left and went to Mindanao in 1948.
After receiving information on One Cebu’s support for him, Duterte told his rivals “you better get nervous.”
In the 2004 presidential election Cebu was able to deliver over one million votes for Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
“History will repeat itself in this election,” Garcia said.
One Cebu only recently dropped its endorsement of Vice President Jejomar Binay of the United Nationalists Alliance.
Garcia said “UNA treated One Cebu like imperial Manila treats the rest of the Philippines: with absolute contempt and disrespect.”
“It turned out that the alliance with One Cebu is nothing more than a marriage of convenience, thus the decision to sever its ties with UNA,” he said.