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Opinion

How did southerner Garcia conquer central Cebu?

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez - The Freeman

Whilst the governor insists that there is only One Cebu, I always think of Cebu as southern, central, and northern. By south, I refer to the 2nd District of ADABOSS, the acronym for Argao, Dalaguete, Alcoy, Boljoon, Oslob, Santander, and Samboan. And also the 7th District, DRAMMBAG, which means Dumanjug, Ronda, Alcantara, Moalboal, Malabuyoc, Badian, Alegria, and Ginatilan. To me, the north starts from Barili to Daanbantayan, although that is an uneven division.

Both Governor Gwen Garcia and Vice Governor Junjun Davide are from the south. Garcia is from Dumanjug and Barili and Junjun is from Argao. But both of them won in the last elections, Garcia in all towns and cities, except Danao, while Junjun won in most towns and cities including Danao. Let us focus on Gwen's amazing feat. In a previous column, we showed how she won in all the seven towns in the 2nd District and in all the eight towns of the 7th District. Now, let us see how she won in the first, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth districts. For one, all the incumbent congressmen, including Calderon, Ace's cousin, were for Gwen. Durano had none. Almost all mayors were for Garcia too including Durano's uncle, Samboan Mayor Tito Calderon.

Central Cebu comprises the first and the third districts. In the 1st District, Garcia led Durano by 210,650 where she got 348,319 over Durano’s mere 55,571. Talisay City gave Garcia 105,283 and only 14,579 to Durano. In Naga City, Garcia got 60,052 and Durano only 5,896. In Carcar City, the votes for Garcia numbered 54,273 and only 14,066 for Durano. Minglanilla gave Garcia 54,273 to Durano's 6,776. San Fernando had 30,366 for Garcia and 10,747 for Durano. In Sibonga, Garcia obtained 23,595 while Durano had only 3,507. The Gullases and the Garcias have an alliance. Garcia did not put up a candidate against Rhea Gullas and the Gullases supported Garcia against Durano.

In the 3rd District where her brother is the unopposed congressman, deputy speaker PJ Garcia, Garcia got a total of 254,258 over Durano's 73,134 or a lead of 181,124. Toledo City gave Garcia a whopping 81,152 and only 12,638 to Durano. In Barili, where her nephew won over the incumbent as mayor, Garcia got 36,547 while Durano garnered 7,524. In Pinamungajan, Garcia was credited with 30,714 votes while Durano got only 8,164. Aloguinsan gave Garcia 14,405 and only 1,378 to Ace. In Balamban, Garcia garnered 32,628 while Durano only got 8,077. In Asturias, Garcia got 25,433 and Durano 3,109. In Tuburan, 33,369 voted for Garcia while only 2,540 opted for Durano.

The 1st District is the richest among the seven congressional districts in terms of revenues. It has three cities and three big municipalities. Talisay City, which is the next-door neighbor of Cebu City is fast expanding and booming in its economic development. Being a suburban city, its population is reaching its limits considering that its size is quite small compared to Toledo, Danao, Naga, Carcar, and Bogo. The 3rd District is the biggest in area among the seven districts. Balamban is the biggest town in the whole province area-wise. In terms of population, the first and fourth districts are also the most thickly populated.

Garcia won in the 1rst District because of the strong support of the Gullases and all the town mayors. The 3rd District used to be represented by Gwen's late father, the late Noy Pabling, and also by herself. Today, her younger brother, Pablo John, is the unopposed congressman. The three of them were all chosen as deputy speaker. Garcia is unbeatable in the whole province but her greatest base are these two vote-rich districts. A southerner is also the political taipan of central Cebu.

GWENDOLYN GARCIA

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