BOPK not endorsing Pacquiao, officials say

BOTH Cebu City Councilor Eugenio Gabuya Jr. and Association of Barangay Council president and ex-officio councilor Franklyn Ong clarified that they attended the “Abag-Promdi” event on Sunday, Sept. 26, 2021 in their “own personal capacity” and that it does not signify that the Bando-Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) party is formally endorsing Sen. Manny Pacquiao who is now vying for presidency in the May 2022 national elections.

“We were there in our personal capacity. Our party’s announcement will be made soon by our founder and party head,” Ong told Cebu media on Tuesday, Sept. 28.

Ong, however, said majority of the Cebu City barangay captains attended the event. Councilor Lea Japson was also present during the event.

Sen. Emmanuel Pacquiao attended the kickoff event of the Abag-Promdi at Radisson Blu Hotel in Cebu City on Sunday.

Pacquiao is running for President in the May 2022 elections under the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) faction led by Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III.

Provincial political party Promdi (Probinsya Muna Development Initiative), founded by the late Cebu governor Emilio Mario “Lito” Osmeña Jr., was relaunched as Abag-Promdi.

Gabuya, for his part, said their presence during that time does not represent their party, the BOPK, though he said he would be “happy” should BOPK leader Tomas Osmeña endorse Pacquiao for president.

“But that is Mayor Tom’s decision. We did not endorse, but I just informed ahead that I am for Manny Pacquiao,” he said, saying he will remain with the BOPK.

He also said the BOPK slate for the local election is ready and they are only making some “adjustments” prior to their formal announcement.

Sought for reaction on the coalition among the “Kusog,” “Barug” and “Partido Panaghiusa,” Ong said, “They are all in the admin and only one same party. Now three parties, same people and faces and no addition.”

He said it will still be the people of Cebu City who will choose and vote what is best for the City. (WBS)