Governor Jun Jun Davide and his dreams for Cebu
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty Josephus Jimenez (The Freeman) - March 31, 2019 - 12:00am

By all appearances, the coming contest for governor is actually a fight between Junjun Davide and Gwen Garcia, both from the south with their respective teammates coming from the north. Cebuanos know who Garcia is, what she stands for, and her track record. They know who Davide is, his values, and his record in public service. The choice is very clear because they clearly have divergent personalities and track records. They represent different values and principles. They stand for divergent dreams and visions for Cebu. I hope I will have chance to interview Gwen and hear her side too.

This is also, somehow, with due respect, a fight between Gwen's father, former governor and congressman Noy Pabling Garcia and Junjun's father, Manoy Jun Davide, former chief justice. Both are brilliant lawyers but with different styles. This too is a fight between Argao and Dumanjug again. I was born in Argao to a Birondo mother and a father from Dumanjug. But, surprisingly, Davide has a strong following in Dumanjug, while Gwen doesn’t seem to have as much in Argao.

The ever good-natured and selfless Junjun has decided to run for vice governor to allow his long-time ally and party-mate Vice Governor Agnes Magpale to lead. They are both persons of honor and decency, public officials whose integrity had not been blemished, despite many attempts to blemish their reputation. Davide’s sliding down was the best manifestation of statesmanship. That admirable act was unprecedented; it has never been done by any sitting governor of Cebu before, and may never be done again.

When I visited Argao, relatives told me Junjun was in town, and was about to go up to the village of his father in faraway Colawin, near the barangays of Alambijud, Tulang, and Gutlang. As a journalist and columnist, I requested his party to allow me to hitch a ride so I could interview him. Anyway, I was on the way to Langin, my own mountain village in the Ronda hinterlands. And so, I had the pleasure of having a candid conversation with the amiable and self-effacing governor. From my 45-minute interview with him, I concluded how lucky Cebu is to be led by such an amazing man of principles, values, and virtues. His dream for our province is truly admirable.

He dreams of a Cebu that retains its traditional values of honesty in public service, transparency in public acts and transactions. He dreams of public works and government projects constructed without any taint of suspicion and doubts. He dreams that public officials serving with honor and decency, who never allow the office of the governor to be used to harass people, threaten political opponents, and to inflict political vendetta. I wrote earlier that Junjun is from Venus and Gwen is from Mars. Junjun is a romantic idealist, a product of traditional values, soft-spoken but very sincere. Gwen is a go-getter, dynamic, aggressive, and bold.

When I alighted from the governor's vehicle, I was fully convinced he is a very authentic and genuine person, no pretension, no shade of mask. His vision for Cebu is one that truly inspired me and tempted me to come home and help him make his dreams come true.

JUN JUN DAVIDE
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