Warming ties in Tuburan welcomed
Gregg M. Rubio (The Freeman) - December 16, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Deputy  House Speaker Pablo John “PJ” Garcia has welcomed the move to end the political rivalry between the Diamantes and Lagons in Tuburan, if only for the town to move further to progress.

“Whatever the Lagons decide to do politically in Tuburan, if done for the good of Tuburan, I will fully support,” said Garcia, who represents Cebu’s third district in the House of Representatives.

A week ago, businesswoman Daphne Lagon and the team of Ako Bisaya Partylist, represented by her husband, Rep. Sonny Lagon, visited the town hall during the Sangguniang Bayan session led by Vice Mayor Democrito Diamante.

“This act would surely be a beginning of a united Tuburan. ‘Panaghiusa Para sa Katawhang Tuburanon’ Daghan kaayong salamat kaninyong tanan (Unity for all Tuburanons. Thank you, all, very much),” Diamante later posted on Facebook, along with a photo of him, the Lagons, and other town officials.

Garcia said he appreciated the gesture.

“Peace and unity are always good news, especially if they redound to the benefit of the people,” he said.

Garcia’s niece, Liloan Mayor Christina Garcia Frasco, president of the League of the Municipalities in the Philippines Cebu Chapter, also expressed her support to the two political bigwigs in Tuburan who now appear to be departing from their erstwhile political conflict.

“It is a welcome development as the unification of leaders can only be good for Cebu and the Cebuanos,” said Frasco.

In the May 13, 2019 elections, Frasco was endorsed by Diamante to succeed him as president of LMP Cebu Chapter.

Diamante ran under Nationalist People’s Coalition while the Garcias ran under 1Cebu Party-Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).

The Lagons are allies of the Garcias of 1Cebu Party.

During the meeting last December 9, local officials of Tuburan offered an office space for Ako Bisaya Partylist to serve the people in town, as well as office space for Rep. Garcia, for whom Daphne serves focal person in the district.

Diamante said that once Tuburan is united, it would be very advantageous for the candidates of the province and the district in the next elections.

In 2013, Diamante won for second term as mayor against former mayor Rose Marie Suezo, while his brother, now Mayor Danilo “Danny” Diamante, won as vice mayor against Daphne.

The vice mayor and Daphne are relatives since the latter’s mother was a Diamante.

In 2016, Aljun won against Daphne in the mayoralty race by a slim margin of 46 votes.

Daphne filed an election protest before the court but the protest was not resolved with finality until the May 2019 elections came.

The court ruled that Daphne won 93 votes against Diamante but the Commission on Elections Second Division issued a writ of preliminary injunction enjoining RTC Judge Hermes Montero to cease and desist from proceeding the election protest.

Daphne ran for mayor last May but lost to Aljun’s brother, Danny. It was also in the last elections when Sonny got a seat in Congress as partylist representative. (FREEMAN)

PABLO JOHN GARCIA
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