One Cebu's power consolidation: Good or bad for Cebuanos?

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

With the latest affiliation by all the officials of the Camotes Island towns with Governor Gwen Garcia's One Cebu, political power is now totally consolidated in the hands of the Garcias and their allies. Is this good for Cebu and the Cebuanos. Well, the answer to that is that it is good for the Garcias. Whether it is good for us, the answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind.

One immediate implication is that the chance of a Durano political resurrection in the north is practically obliterated. And this is very bad news for the Duranos and their allies. The BAKUD has collapsed like a house of cards. If Don Ramon "Mano Amon" and Beatriz Duterte "Mana Ate" were alive today, this would never happen. I grew up in the sixties and in the seventies when Don Ramon was the unquestioned political kingpin controlling the whole north, which now comprises the current fifth, fourth and a part of the third districts. Nobody could win over any candidate supported by Durano north of Cebu City. It was then the old first district, and whatever Mano Amon said was done.

Mano Amon was President FM Sr's most trusted man in Cebu. Mano Amon was the one who engineered the defeat of Serging Osmena in Cebu in 1969. It was a very bitter defeat. Imagine a native Cebuano running for president was outmaneuvered, outsmarted by an Ilocano right here in Cebu. And that was possible because Mano Amon allied with Congressman Isidro Kintanar, who controlled the old fourth district, called SAAD or Sibonga Argao, Alcoy and Dalaguete. He also allied with Congressman Manuel Zosa of the old sixth district comprising Toledo all the way south to Ronda, now parts of the third and seventh districts.  Mano Amon also allied with Congressman Tereso Dumon who controlled the northwest from Balamban to Bogo.

Today, the Duranos have no more political clout. Ace Durano was defeated in practically all towns and cities, excluding Danao. The Duranos could not even get the support of their first degree cousin, a grandson of Mano Amon, Peter John Calderon, who supported Gwen Garcia against his own first degree cousin, Ace. Politics is thicker than blood. In the last gubernatorial elections, the iron butterfly from Dumanjug has proven her unquestioned political power beyond any shade of doubt. The marriage of Governor Gwen's daughter, Cristina to Congressman Duke Frasco from Liloan paved the way for the demolition of BAKUD by One Cebu. All breaks went to the Garcias. If Noy Pabling were alive today, he would be silently smiling at how his most beloved girl, Gwen, was able to conquer the Durano empire.

Today, there is no politician alive in Cebu who could beat Gwen Garcia. Not even my good friend Junjun Davide. The problem with the Duranos last elections was that they allied with Junjun but refused to endorse Davide's candidate for president. They wanted to ride on two horses, hoping that Marcos would endorse Ace against Gwen because they were spreading the rumor that Gwen would go for Isko, who was endorsed by Gwen's brother, the congressman representing the third. But the Duranos were wrong. The Marcoses are brilliant politicians. They already conducted their survey and they knew that Ace never had any chinaman's chance over Gwen. And so, if Mano Amon was Marcos Sr's favorite, it does not follow that BBM would choose a Durano over a Garcia.

And to add injury to insult, Marcos Jr appointed Cristina Frasco as DOT secretary, the very post occupied by Ace under GMA. And so, what should the Duranos do now? Perhaps, they are not in the mood of getting unsolicited advices, but I think if Mano Amon were alive today, they would start mending fences with Peter John Calderon, their cousin in the seventh, and also Edsel Galeos of the second district, as well of the Salimbanguns and the Ouanos of Mandaue.Although all these guys are close allies of the dragon lady in the Capitol.  They should also clarify their alliance with Junjun Davide. Somos or no somos, as the Spaniards would say.

Well, in our country politics is not based on principles but on convenience. Anything can happen if you have money and power. Whether you are a Durano or a Garcia, if you have these, you will win. Even the late Mano Amon and Noy Pabling knew that long before we were born. It's still the same old story, the fight for love and glory. It is still money and power. Principles have nothing to do about all these.


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