Winston Garcia favored over Peter John Calderon
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus Jimenez (The Freeman) - November 9, 2018 - 12:00am

One of the most interesting fights for the position of representatives in the province of Cebu is in the seventh district, between the incumbent lawyer Peter John Durano Calderon against the challenger, lawyer Winston Fiel Garcia. I think that Congressman Willy Caminero will win in the second district and the great EddieGul has no problem in the first district. The third will not be an easy win for Pablo John Garcia, as the old man Sonny Osmeña will really give him a lot of headaches. The fourth district will still be a Salimbangon country and the fifth will forever be in the hands of the Duranos ‘til kingdom come. The sixth is a big question mark, and the seventh will be very hotly contested.


The seventh district is what I call DRAMMBAG or the acronym for Dumanjug, Ronda, Alcantara, Moalboal, Malabuyoc, Badian, Alegria and Ginatilan. Alegria is the new oil field, the hope of the district. This is the area where San Pedro Calungsod comes from. This is also the home district of the late senator Ernesto Falar Herrera, and this used to be the old bailiwick of the Cuencos from the ‘40s until the early ‘70s. This was where Senate President Don Mariano Jesus Cuenco, Don Miguel Cuenco, Don Manuel Cuenco, Tony Cuenco, and all the Cuencos used to have vast landholdings and dominated the political landscape. Then a young Calderon married a Durano and the scion is the incumbent congressman who had the honor of representing this new district, separated from what I called ADABOSS or Argao, Dalaguete, Alcoy, Boljoon, Oslob, Santander, and Samboan.

The separation of ADABOSS from DRAMMBAG was a political concoction of Congressman Caminero of Argao and the Garcias of Dumanjug, which I called then the grand design of ''Garciamandering" and "Caminerondeering" or the Solomonic splitting of the old second district so that the Garcias will have their own turf, unimpeded by the Kintanars and the Camineros from Argao. Now, Peter John Calderon who had the chance to shine for three years as a member of the majority, to my mind, did not deliver as expected. He is now being challenged by an aggressive and long-proven executive who is decisive, action-oriented, and a go-getter. Calderon better be prepared. Winston is a more difficult opponent than his younger brother Pablo John. Winston has a lot of money, logistics, organization, and is a very strategic thinker and focused tactician. I think Winston will win this time. Dumanjug alone will deliver the winning votes. Calderon does not have a bailiwick as big as Dumanjug.

Winston has a personality which is not very amiable unlike Peter John, but Winston can deliver for the seventh district that massive development that Peter John failed to accomplish. On August 6, 2016, I wrote in this column a memo to Calderon calling on him to draw a southwestern Cebu comprehensive development plan and transform our district into a special economic zone. He never even acknowledged it. Coming from a constituent who has no political agenda but only a vision for the advancement of DRAMMBAG, Calderon ignored it altogether. He is now the vice chairman of the Globalization and WTO Committee in Congress. What has he done? He is a member of vital committees like overseas welfare affairs, what law has he passed for the thousands of OFWs, many of whom come from his district? Nothing that I know.

Our family over the years always supported Calderon because he represents the hopes of the youth. But his three-year stint was a disappointment. Winston, as general manager and president of GSIS increased its assets from a few millions to more than ten billion. He was a director of San Miguel, Meralco, and even ASEAN Social Security. I'm sorry, I have to be frank: Peter John cannot hold a candle to the sterling achievements of Winston. I think our district is looking for passion, dynamism, and solid accomplishment. Calderon had his chance and he bungled it.

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