Why are the Garcias fighting in all fronts?
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus Jimenez (The Freeman) - April 22, 2019 - 12:00am

One would wonder why one family is so politically driven that there are no less than four children of former governor Pablo P Garcia running in a number of districts, not to mention the whole province. Gwen is running for governor.

Pablo John is going back to his former constituency, the third district, after he was defeated in 2016 by Peter John Calderon in the seventh. Nelson is running no longer for mayor of Dumanjug where he was beaten in 2016 by a young millennial, Gungun Gica, but for congressman of the seventh district. Marlon is running again for mayor of Barili. The Garcias are lucky to be coming from two towns and two congressional districts.

The Garcias are really from Dumanjug, which now belongs to the seventh district. They are also from Barili, which belongs to the third district. Actually Noy Pabling is from Bitoon, Dumanjug where he and his older brother, Jesus, a Concon delegate of 1973 and founder of another local newspaper, grew up.

But Noy Pabling's mother, who was a Paras, was from Barili. There was a time when two brothers were both mayors of adjoining towns belonging respectively to two separate districts. Marlon was mayor of Barili and Nelson of Dumanjug. The election of 2016 was not a lucky undertaking for the Garcias though. Pablo John was beaten by Peter John Calderon in the seventh district. Nelson was beaten by Gica in Dumanjug and Winston lost to Junjun Davide as governor of Cebu.

This time, incumbent third district representative and former Deputy Speaker Gwendolyn F Garcia is, of course, running for governor against incumbent vice governor Agnes Almendras-Magpale. Gwen is a passionate campaigner and seems not to get tired hopping from one rally to another, rushing from town to town as if this is the fight of her life.

That is her style, always on the go, dynamic, full energy and never wanting of enthusiasm. She is really a very difficult opponent. She leaves no stone unturned and covers a lot of ground in so short a time. Her daughter is running for reelection as mayor of Liloan and her son-in-law is running against the Duranos for congressman of the fifth.

Thus, the Garcias are running in the third, the fifth, the seventh, and the whole province of Cebu. Their father who was also a former governor used to be a congressman of the second district where Dumanjug used to belong. The question therefore those political pundits would ask is: Why are the Garcias running in all directions?

What is their main driving force? Why is it that it is very important for them to control so many positions? Well, my answer is both legal and philosophical. Legally, that is their perfect right to run and be voted upon. Philosophically, I would suppose that Noy Pabling has taught his children well on the importance of serving the people. And the children are just following in their dad's footsteps.

That is assuming that people would buy that line. And so, why are the Garcias fighting in all fronts? Why, in the first place, are we even asking? That is their right. And this is a free country after all. The question is: Will all of them win? Well, that is another matter.

PABLO P GARCIA
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