Visayan governors, mayors pick Gibo

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — LAKAS-Kampi-CMD standard-bearer and former Defense Secretary Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro emerged as the top choice for president of majority of the governors and city mayors in the Visayas, according to a survey conducted on local chief executives in at least three regions.

Antique Gov. Sally Perez said that One Visayas recently conducted the survey among its members and the results strongly favored Gibo.

“So far, out of 30 city mayors, two-thirds have pledged their support and out of the region’s 16 governors, 12 have every intention of fully supporting the former Defense Secretary,” Perez, who chairs the Regional Development Councils for Western Visayas, said.

Perez said there is strong support for Gibo among the Ilonggo youth.

“I think the constituency of Gibo is really the students. These campus tours are really heart-warming for him because the students love him,” said Perez.

In the Western Visayas, Gibo is being supported by governors Carlito Marquez of Aklan, Isidro Zayco of Negros Occidental and Felipe Nava of Guimaras. Central Visayas governors Gwen Garcia of Cebu, Erico Aumentado of Bohol and Orlando Fua of Siquijor also gave their support for Teodoro. Garcia chairs the RDC in the region.

Perez said that in Eastern Visayas, the pro-Gibo governors are Ben Evardone of Eastern Samar, Jericho Petilla of Leyte, Emilio Macias of Negros Oriental, Milagros Tan of Western Samar and Damian Mercado of Southern Leyte.

Among the city mayors supporting Gibo is Calbayog City Mayor Mel Sarmiento, who chairs the RDC for Eastern Visayas, she said.

In his campus visits to the University of the Philippines Visayas, John B. Lacson Foundation Maritime University and St. Therese MTC Colleges, Gibo received a warm welcome from students as he talked about his experiences as an “Iskolar ng Bayan” and his vision for the country.

He also attended the “Encounter with a Presidentiable” forum at the Sarabia Manor Hotel.

Members of the Ilonggo business sector were impressed by Gibo’s wit, intelligence and charisma in responding to their queries on peace and order, the economy, the looming energy problem in the Visayas, climate change and other pressing concerns.

Teodoro capped his visit to Iloilo with a short trip to the West Visayas State University where his supporters sponsored a free concert.