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PIA Press Release

Cebu biz chambers refute reports on bias as Gibo wins mock poll after Presidential Forum

Cebu City (26 January) -- Organizers of the Presidential Forum in Cebu held last Friday issued a statement branding reports that came out that pro ?Gibo' supporters were given access and allowed to vote during the mock elections that followed right after the forum to ensure Teodoro's victory as patently inaccurate and unfair.

Signed by the three presidents of the big business chambers in Cebu namely Consul Samuel Chioson of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI), Erik Mendoza of the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) and Dondi Joseph of the Cebu Business Club (CBC), the statement said the "no ticket, no entry" policy was strictly enforced and the ingress points were closely monitored by senior directors of the organizing business organizations.

Administration bet Gilberto "Gibo" Teodoro had an overwhelming lead among the six presidentiables during the mock poll that was conducted after the three-hour forum as out of the 935 votes cast, Teodoro got 456 votes followed by Sen. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III with 296 votes. Senator Manny Villar was the third choice of the Cebuanos with 88 votes while 45 voted for Senator Richard Gordon and the fifth place went to Brother Eddie Villanueva with 29 votes. Last on the list was former President Joseph Estrada with 19 votes.

Nicolas Perlas got two votes even though he was not one of the invited presidentiables.

Teodoro was then proclaimed the winner in the mock election at the end of the forum.

A total of 956 out of approximately 2,000 attendees cast their ballots in the mock election.

Of the total 2,000 tickets distributed by the organizers, 8.0% or 160 were distributed almost equally to the following: Provincial Governor Gwen Garcia, Cebu City Vice Mayor Rama, Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes and Vice Mayor Carlo Fortuna, Talisay City Mayor Socrates Fernandez, Lapu-Lapu City Mayor's Office, Governor of Antique Sally Perez, Presidential Assistant Felix Guanzon. The Department of Education, NEDA and the staff of Sen. Mar Roxas received 5 tickets each, according to the statement.

Thirty tickets each were given to the six respective political parties for their local supporters while 42 tickets were allocated and taken by the Mactan Chamber of Commerce including friends and family of Lapu-Lapu City Mayoralty candidate Jun Pelaez, this is learned.

The balance of 1,623 tickets was distributed to the Cebu-based Business Chambers and Clubs and Business Organizations who in turn distributed tickets to their respective members. Tickets were also given to the Cebu Bankers Club, Phil. Retailers Association, Rotary Club of Cebu, Phil-Export, Phil. Chamber of Commerce & Industry, and FINEX. Tickets were also distributed to members of Civil Society, Students, and to members of the Academe.

The mock election was conducted by the Ateneo Graduate School of Business for the ticketed members of the audience in the Plenary Hall at the Cebu International Convention Center. Each Presidentiable was allocated 250 seats for their supporters at the Summit Hall. These supporters were not involved in the mock election.

The three business chamber organizers of the recent Presidential Forum stated that the issuance of the statement is to correct the inaccuracies that have recently been published.

With the May 2010 national and local elections drawing near, the organizers previously said the first-ever Presidential forum in Cebu dubbed ""Choices and Voices for 2010" was initiated because they want to listen to the platform agenda of the presidential contenders giving more weight to five key areas such as good governance, environment, foreign investments, labor and employment and tourism.

Cebu Province including Cebu City has a total number of 2,412,092 registered voters based on the data from the Commission on Elections-7. The figure does not include the new voters that sign up during the extended voters' registration.

After the forum, the six Presidentiables signed a covenant in commitment to "peaceful and clean elections as well as transparency and good governance."

The three business chambers also said they will soon be coming up with a Mayor's Forum focusing on the mayoralty candidates of cities within Metro Cebu including Cebu, Mandaue and Lapulapu. (PIA-Cebu/FCR) [top]

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