SAN JOSE, Antique — Datu Gilbert and Dayang Gwen in 2010?
Speculations over a possible tandem between Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro and Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia as president and vice president, respectively, in the 2010 elections grew yesterday after the two officials attended the Binirayan Festival here and were practically endorsed by their host, Antique Gov. Salvacion Zaldivar-Perez.
Teodoro who has confirmed his plan to run for president if he will be endorsed by the administration coalition was referred to by Perez as the “Datu Sumakwel” and “Mr. President.”
Sumakwel, as depicted in the festival and the according to folklore, is the head of the 10 Bornean Datus (chieftains) who fled Borneo with their families in the mid-13th century and landed on the shores of Antique where they founded settlements.
Perez also referred to Garcia as Dayang (queen or princess) during the press conference and during the re-enactment of the landing of the datus at the Malandog beach.
Teodoro and Garcia would be a formidable political tandem because he comes from the north (Tarlac) while Garcia belongs to powerful political clan from the south, according to Perez.
Teodoro confirmed that he is among those being eyed by the administration coalition as its standard bearer in next year's elections but he said the selection of the candidate should be a consensus of the coalition.
“We are waiting for selection process and I will join that process,” Teodoro said in the press conference.
He said he will only run if he will be selected because there is a need for teamwork and cooperation.
“I am working to get that consensus,” Teodoro said.
When asked if he will get the endorsement of the Nationalist People's Coalition, headed by his uncle, former ambassador Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco, Teodoro said he is not a member of the NPC but will “get the support of many NPC members.”
Teodoro said he will welcome any vice presidential candidate that will be chosen by the administration coalition.
Garcia did not confirm or deny if she will accept any offer to run as vice president especially with Teodoro.
“I agreed to be his Dayang in the Binirayan festival,” Garcia said.
When pressed further, the Cebu governor said in jest: “The halo-halo is good,” referring to popular native dessert consisting of shaved ice mixed with sweet preserves, fruits, milk and ice cream.
During the ceremony, Garcia presented a P1 million check to Perez as Cebu's donation to the Binirayan festival. Cebu and Antique signed a sisterhood pact last December.*NPB