Cebu is the most vote-rich province in the Philippines. Will Cebuanos vote Doc Willie Ong for senator? As of 2018, voters of the province rise to more than 3 million from 2.7 million in the 2016 Election.
In the last Presidential Election, Pres. Rodrigo Duterte won in Cebu island(s) with 1.4 million votes. The reason for this overwhelming support is simple to understand, especially if you are familiar with the culture of the province.
Cebuanos are proud of their language, blood, and culture. They will give full support to anyone they like who is a Cebuano/a, as long as the person tickles their tastes. They are the ones who join the call for “Bisaya na pod!” campaign. They are longing for someone who can understand their sentiments, which might be hard for the northern people (Luzon) to comprehend.
Duterte loves to tell the story of his Cebuano origin. According to him, his ancestry is from Danao, a City in the northern part of Cebu, before they transferred in Davao City. With his language and blood (and humor), Cebuanos easily embraced him and fought for him until his victory.
How is this related on the way Cebuanos will vote for Doc Willie Ong who is now running for Senator in the 2019 Election?
Most of the supporters of the President (which is more than 15 million voters) are also backing up the bid of Doc Willie Ong for senator. A very important thing to note, specifically here in Cebu, is the group that has supported the then Mayor Duterte in his campaign for the presidency: We, The People.
We, The People is an organization founded by Dr. Rowena Burden who is crusading for change by endorsing political candidates. The same group is now campaigning 13 senatorial hopefuls, and one of them is Doc Willie Ong.
The President endorses only 5 candidates while his daughter, Sara Duterte, recommends 13 senatoriables (an English Filipino term). Solid Duterte supporters will surely go with the 5 while adding more from the 13 of Sara but will surely drop others to include Doc Willie in their choice, if not their top favorite candidate.
Dr. Burden chooses Doc Willie Ong as her first pick. Together with her We, The People supporters, they are continually working to get the same Cebuano support they give to the President.
Otso Diretso Country?
On the other hand, someone is claiming that Cebu is an Otso Diretso (LP’s Coalition) Country. The province is said to be the stronghold of the Liberal Party due to the victory of former President Noynoy Aquino and former Senator Mar Roxas in the 2010 election with 1 million Cebuano vote. However, the tide turns to PDP-Laban since Pres. Duterte has won the last presidential election.
On Tuesday, March 26, 2019, it was reported that there were no strong local coalitions that supported the opposition slate’s gathering in IEC Convention Center in Cebu City. The one who claimed that the province is an LP’s country is said to be absent in the gathering.
While on February 24 this year, PDP-Laban’s campaign rally in Plaza Independencia was estimated to have been attended by around 80,000 supporters. The local coalition, Team Barug of running Cebu City Mayor Edgar Labella, attended the gathering with Mike Rama who is also running for Cebu City Vice Mayor.
Granting without admission that Cebu is an LP’s country, Cebuanos still have four vacancies since the opposition has only eight bets. Doc Willie’s ongoing popularity can fill in the vacancy on the voters’ senatorial list, which probably favors more of Sara’s Hugpong than of LP’s Otso.
The Social Media Influencer
Doc Willie is regarded as a Social Media Superstar with almost 10 million Likes in his Facebook Page and 1 million subscribers in his YouTube Channel that recently won the Gold Play Button of the said video networking site.
According to Doc Willie Ong, about 100 thousand Likes of his Page are from Cebu. The figure is far from 1.4 million supporters of the President. But, it is more likely that the number will expand, especially that the biggest percentage of voters now are from 30 to 44 years old who are more health conscious and well-informed.
Dr. Ong has already been in Cebu for his campaign twice with the help of We, The People and will be back again on the second week of April. The focus of his platform is to provide free medicines and surgical operations, wider health information dissemination, free laboratory tests, and safe medicines and food.
Dr. Ong doesn’t have the machinery of traditional TV and radio advertisements. His social media followers are the strongest endorsers of his platform, which is being shared all over the social media and physically, in the southern and northern part of Cebu and all over the country.
Health is not just a Cebuano concern; it is a national matter. According to a study, the number 1 cause of death in the Philippines since 2005 is heart disease while cancer is on top 3. Fortunately, Dr. Ong specializes in cardiology with a degree in Internal Medicine and Public Health.
With the overwhelming health issues, it is now high time to consider a doctor who is using his profession to help the poor in enhancing the quality of their lives by giving free service.
The 3,082,621 voters of Cebu Province deserve to have better health programs as much as every single person living in the whole archipelago does. We need someone who knows the health issues of the country better and who can enhance the quality of the healthcare system we have. We need Doc Willie Ong in the Philippine Senate if we want real change to happen.
(Disclaimer: Doc Willie Ong doesn’t prefer to have any political color. He is neither blue, yellow, orange, or red. He is neutrally running under the banner of Lakas-CMD. His only focus is to serve the Filipino people, especially the poor.)