How did the southerners dominate northern Cebu?

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

In both global geopolitics, and world history, the north always conquered the south. The pattern of historical developments in the US, Europe, and Asia followed a strange coincidence where the people from the north are always the stronger ones in terms of economics, politics, and even culture. This year, the president is from the north and the vice president is from the south. In 2016, we elected a southerner as president and a northerner as vice president.

In Cebu, however, for the longest time, the governors always came from the south. The first governor of Cebu was from Argao, Julio Aballe Llorente, from 1899 to 1901. The fourth governor of Cebu was from Dumanjug, Dionisio Jakosalem from 1907 to 1912. The seventh governor, Don Mariano Jesus Cuenco, from 1931 to 1934, was a long-time congressman representing southern Cebu, from Oslob in the east to Alcantara in the west. The seventeenth governor, from 1961 to 1963, Francisco Emilio Remotigue, was from Ronda and Argao. Dumanjug was the home of the 22nd governor Pablo Garcia, from 1995 to 2004; the 23rd, Gwen, from 2004 to 2013; and the 25th, also Gwen. The 24th is from Argao, Hilario Davide III, from 2013 to 2019.

In the last two local elections, both the 2019 and the 2022, the candidates from the south of Cebu won over their opponents from the north. Gwen and Junjun defeated their respective opponents. Let us focus on the governor. How did a southerner, Gwen, win in all the towns in the north and also in all the cities except Danao? In the 4th District, Gwen got a total of 206,708 over Durano's only 29,759 or a whopping lead of 210,650. Gwen won in Bogo City getting 38,819 while Durano got only 4,023. Tabuelan gave Gwen 14,654 and only 1,331 to Durano. In San Remigio, 29,552 voted for Garcia and only 3,172 for Durano. In Madridejos, Gwen got 18,640 and only 1,893 for Durano. In Sta. Fe, Gwen got 13,967 and Durano only 2,166. Daanbantayan gave Garcia 31,133 and 4,368 to Durano. Bantayan credited Gwen with 33,908 and Durano 4,368. In Medellin, Garcia got 26,035 and Durano garnered only 3,942.

In Durano's own district, it was Durano with 118,977. He lost to Gwen Garcia with 207,998 or a lead of 89,021. Durano only won in Danao City with 49,578 against Garcia's 28,299. Durano lost in all the 10 towns both in the mainland and in the Camotes islands. This is unprecedented. In Borbon, Durano got only 4,552 to Gwen's 15,875. In Carmen, Duranogot 11,789 and Gwen 20,247. In Catmon, only 5,992 voted for Durano, 12,159 chose Gwen. Compostela gave Durano 7,659 while Gwen got 23,346. In Sogod, only 2,614 voted for Durano while 17,751 chose Garcia. In Liloan where Gwen's daughter is mayor, only 10,444 chose Durano while a whopping 57,786 voted for Gwen.

In Poro, 6,653 were for Durano and 7,800 for Gwen. Tudela gave Durano 2,969 and 4,445 for Gwen, Pilar gave Durano 3,802 and Gwen 4,270. 12,925 voted for Durano in San Francisco while 16,020 opted for Gwen. All these never happened during the time of Mano Amon, the patriarch of the Durano political empire. It appears that the descendants of the old political taipan have not lived up to the standards of the old Durano brand of leadership. To my mind however, the great game changer is the leadership of Governor Gwen and the dynamism of Duke Frasco, Gwen's favorite son-in-law.

Duke has broken the 50-year-old supremacy of the Duranos in the 5th District. He should deliver a good performance, or else the people of the 5th District are going to go back to the old Durano politics. I am sure the Duranos will not take this devastation sitting down. A great backlash is bound to erupt and the Garcias and Frascos should watch out in the next political battles.


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