(The Freeman) Updated May 22, 2007
Governor Gwendolyn Garcia yesterday said the Iglesia ni Cristo, whose members vote as a bloc, could no longer brag about making a candidate win in the election after it failed to deliver majority votes to her opponents in the May 14 elections.
Garcia and her camp had failed to get the endorsement of the INC, which had supported them in the 2004 elections.
This after she reportedly refused a demand from an INC minister in Cebu to release the payment of a rescinded contract involving the purchase of the camera used for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit in January.
Prior to the elections, the governor, together with her father, former governor Pablo Garcia, and brother, Pablo John, and Vice Governor Gregorio Sanchez Jr. had visited the INC officials supposedly to present their platform of government for their endorsement.
But instead of asking for their platform, the lady governor said one of the INC ministers asked her to release the payment for the cancelled contract previously entered into by the Capitol.
“This is a serious misgiving. Are their (INC) endorsements for sale?” Gov. Garcia said. But she clarified that she was not referring to the entire INC, only to a particular minister in Cebu.
The INC endorsed the candidacies of Reps. Antonio Yapha and Clavel Asas-Martinez, who were running for governor
and vice governor respectively.
But even without the support from the INC, the former governor easily won the congressional seat in the second district while Pablo John beat Yapha’s wife, Estrella, for Congress in the third district.
Gov. Garcia said even if she did not have the support from the INC, she still managed to garner 748,185 votes against Yapha’s 287,133. Sanchez got 628,436 votes against Martinez’s 296,518.
Although it endorsed the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK) in Cebu City, the INC dropped two of its candidates and supported Arthur Abregonde and Danilo Fernan of the Tribu Guardo.
Abregonde and Fernan, however, lost in their bid for the City Council. — Garry B. Lao/LPM