Cebu Goes Wild for Gibo

The police had to hold back the crowds. That's how wild they were for our president at the Choices & Voices Forum in Cebu on January 22, 2010 :)

From Manila Times, January 24, 2010:

Gibo charmed Cebu, won mock polls

Cebuanos overwhelmingly chose Lakas-Kampi CMD presidential candidate Gilbert “Gibo” Teodoro Jr. over other presidential candidates shortly after a groundbreaking forum held in the vote-rich province the other day.

A crowd of more than 2,000 from all walks of life erupted into thunderous cheers for Teodoro as he entered the Cebu International Convention Center to present his platform of government alongside other presidential candidates.

At the end of the three-hour forum, Teodoro was proclaimed winner in the mock polls conducted after the program.

Out of 935 votes cast, Teodoro got 456 votes, Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino 3rd got 296 votes, followed by Sen. Manny Villar, 88; Sen. Richard Gordon, 45; Bother Eddie Villanueva, 29; former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada, 19; and Nicolas Perlas, 2.

Replying to questions on his plan for Cebu, Teodoro underscored his vision for infrastructure projects in the province including a new runway for the airport, as well as bridges to interconnect Cebu with neighboring island provinces such as Bohol and Negros.

The forum was jointly organized by the province’s three major business chambers—the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Cebu Business Club—and the Aboitiz Equity Ventures and the Visayan Electric Co.

Together with the other presidential candidates, Teodoro signed a covenant committing himself to “peaceful and clean elections as well as transparency and good governance.”

The covenant also searches “for a meaningful moral and political change that shall transform our nation into one where people achieve their dreams and where the common good is promoted and upheld.”

Among those who attended the forum were Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia of Cebu, Mayor Jonas Cortes of Mandaue City, Cebu Business Club President Gordon Alan Joseph and Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Eric Ng Mendoza.

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After the results of the mock poll were released, the camp of one candidate complained that the poll was biased. The organizers issued a formal statement denying this. That candidate's supporters also claimed they were not allowed inside the venue. But many other supporters of other candidates were also not able to get inside because the venue was full.

From the Philippine Daily Inquirer, January 26, 2010:

‘No hakot crowd in forum’

ORGANIZERS of last Friday's presidential forum at the Cebu International Convention Center (CICC) refuted allegations of unequal distribution of the 2,000 tickets to the event.

In a statement, top officials of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Cebu Business Club debunked reports that a large number of supporters of administration presidential bet Gilbert Teodoro Jr. were allowed to enter the CICC plenary hall.

They reiterated that supporters of the candidates were not involved in the mock elections held by the Ateneo Graduate School of Business after the “Choices and Voices” forum that showed Teodoro winning by a substantial margin.

Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia also denied any involvement in the presidential forum.

She said allegation that there was a “hakot (gathering) crowd” was an insult to the Cebu business community.

“It's a question on their credibility. We are talking here of prestigious business groups,” said Garcia.

She said she only convinced Teodoro to attend the presidential forum.

Forum organizers said each presidential candidate was allocated 250 seats for their supporters at the Summit Hall.

They said the mock elections counted 956 out of the 2,000 ticket holders inside the plenary hall.

Of the 2,000 tickets, only 160 or eight percent were divided among Cebu government officials.

“The ‘no ticket, no entry’ policy was strictly enforced and the ingress points were closely monitored by senior directors of the organizing business organizations,” the statement read.

They said such reports were patently inaccurate and unfair.

The statement also broke down the distribution of the 2,000 tickets sold to the people who attended the “Choices and Voices” presidential forum.

About 30 tickets were each issued to the presidential candidates for their guests while 42 tickets were each given to the Mactan Chamber of Commerce and Industry as well as the friends and family of businessman Jun Pelaez, a mayoralty candidate of Lapu-Lapu City.

The remaining 1,623 tickets were then distributed to different chambers and clubs in Mandaue.

They include the Cebu Bankers Club, Phil. Retailers Association, Rotary Club of Cebu, Phil-Export, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, FINEX, civil society, the academe and the students.

The Department of Education (DepEd), National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) and the staff of Sen. Mar Roxas received five tickets each.

Local government officials who received tickets were Governor Garcia, Cebu City Vice Mayor Michael Rama, Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes, Vice Mayor Carlo Fortuna, Talisay City Mayor Socrates Fernandez, the Lapu-Lapu City Mayor’s Office, Antique Gov. Sally Perez and Presidential Assistant Felix Guanzon.

Capitol consultant Rory Jon Sepulveda said their office received 20 tickets and gave six of them to Lahug barangay captain Mary Ann delos Santos whose Kusug party is not affiliated with any presidential candidate.

Garcia said that like Teodoro, she was unsure about attending the forum since it was scheduled on the last day of the Suroy Suroy sa Sugbu southern heritage trail.

She said she and Antique Gov. Sally Saldevar Perez were unable to cast their votes since they were tabulated before the forum ended.

Garcia said organizers decided to issue tickets to control the number of people attending the forum.

She said the mock election results was expected since Teodoro impressed the CICC crowd with his clear answers.

“There are even those who probably because of media hype or name recall, supported another candidate. But maybe after the forum, they changed their minds (into supporting Teodoro),” said Garcia.

Garcia said the Liberal Party (LP) camp may be sour graping when they questioned the outcome of last Friday's mock election especially since they are used to leading the surveys.

“Maybe (Sen.) Noynoy's (Aquino) camp is scared because they got the jolt right here in Cebu where time and again we have proven that Cebu has the intelligent vote,” she said.

Garcia's One Cebu party along with several Central Visayas governors voiced their support for Teodoro's presidential bid.

But the administration party still has to announce its choices for the vice-president and the senators.

Related reading: MANILA BULLETIN - Traders deny mock poll irregularity