What have you done for Cebu Province?

ONE Cebu party officials took a swipe at the tandem of gubernatorial candidate Joseph Felix “Ace” Durano and his running mate, reelectionist Vice Gov. Hilario “Junjun” Davide III, on the first day of the local campaign period for the 2022 elections.During the kick-off of the One Cebu campaign sortie in the Barili Sports Complex on Friday, March 25, 2022, Deputy Speaker Pablo John Garcia, the party’s secretary general, described the opposition candidates as “uncertain to serve the people.”“Karong 45 ka adlaw nga kampanya, ang ako ra gyud isulti sa mga kampanyahan, simple ra gyud kaayo. Simple ra gyud. Unsa man ta? Ari ba ta sa serbisyong nakita na o sa serbisyong wa pa ta kahibaw og moserbisyo ba gyud?” he said, adding that his sister, reelectionist Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, had already shown the kind of service that One Cebu can offer. (During this 45-day campaign period, all I will say is a very simple thing. Whom do we support? The one whose service we have already seen? Or the one whose service we still don’t know will be delivered?)“Ari ta sa kahoy nga kapila na namunga. Ari ta sa kahoy nga gahi, Garcia-Heyrosa. Di ta adtong itanom pa nga duda (Durano-Davide)… Magduda pa ta. Ari ta sa sigurado na,” he added without mentioning the names of Davide and Durano. (Let’s go with the tree that has borne fruit several times, that is strong, Garcia-Heyrosa. Let’s not go with that which has yet to be planted whose service is doubtful.)The secretary general said it has been 18 years since Governor Garcia served Cebu province, and this can be shown and felt by the constituents.He cited the infrastructure projects of the governor, particularly the concreting of provincial roads. During the onslaught of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in 2013 in northern Cebu, the deputy speaker also noted that it was his sister, then a congresswoman, who helped the affected families by providing the needed assistance.He said the governor at that time, referring to Davide, seemed to have not known what to do in response.He further said that on the return of his sister to the province’s top position, she was tested in various challenges including the devastation brought by Typhoon Odette (Rai) and the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic. But the secretary general said the governor served as the mother of the province and provided immediate aid.“Sus simbako, og lain pa to ang gobernador, gikuso-kuso ta ni Odette, naigo ta’g Covid-19, naunsa na kaha ang lalawigan sa Sugbo?” he said, adding that it would be the incumbent governor whom people could lean on should another calamity hit the province. (God forbid! If we had had another governor when we were hit by Odette and Covid-19, what would have happened to Cebu province?)The secretary general said they kicked off their campaign in Barili, which was also loved by his late father, former Cebu governor Pablo “Pabling” Garcia, and his brother, the late town mayor Marlon Garcia.Meanwhile, One Cebu vice gubernatorial candidate Dr. Maria Therese Heyrosa said while it was her first time to enter politics, she had long been serving the people since she was still a student.Heyrosa, an ophthalmologist, said she was running to address the health needs of the community, adding that she even expanded her services to other parts of the country.“During the pandemic, where was our opponent? He said he was a senior citizen so he did not go out,” Heyrosa said in Cebuano, further dissing Davide. “Okay, so let’s say he was a senior citizen. But while we are still in the pandemic, restrictions have been eased. This is due to the efforts of our governor, and not our current vice governor.”The vice gubernatorial aspirant stressed that when Davide served as governor for six years (2013-2019) and three years as vice governor (2019-2022), she asked One Cebu’s supporters, “naa ba mo’y nakit-an, nabati nga intact projects (were you able to see or feel any intact projects)?”She said the position of vice governor is not limited to passing ordinances crafted by the Provincial Board members but includes assisting the governor.“Mao na akong giingon, labing tinuod, wa nibabag pero wa sa’y naambag. Luoy kaayo atong Governor Gwen nga siya na tawn usa sige og badhas-badhas sa mga dalanan sa Sugbo para mangita og proyekto nga makaagap sa mga kinabuhi sa mga Sugbuanon,” Heyrosa said. (The truth is, he did not block, but he also did not help. Our poor Governor Gwen had to crisscross the roads of Cebu alone to look for projects to improve the lives of the Cebuanos.)The reelectionist governor, on the other hand, said that under Davide’s six-year administration, the province was neglected and abandoned many times and his administration even prioritized big business, practically giving away many lot areas.Governor Garcia said One Cebu’s secretary general did not win against Davide in 2013 because people wanted to try a new administration.“Pangutan on nato karon, nakasulay mo’g bag-o, nakasulay mo’g unom katuig nga walay pagtagad, nakasulay mo pahig-pahig ang pagtabang, nakasulay mo sa ngil-ad nga pamulitika, personal nga mga interest lamang ang gilantaw,” said the governor. (Well, let me ask you, now that you’ve tried someone new, you’ve tried six years of lack of heed, you’ve tried selective help, ugly politics, with only personal interests being attended to.)She added that people also experienced that roads were destroyed while barangay health workers and daycare workers were not given an additional amount of incentives.In the May elections, the governor asked the people to give her someone she can work with to further develop the province. The governor said while she had only recently known Heyrosa, she learned more about her during the caravan of services as a woman who truly cared for the people, unlike others who are like mushrooms emerging only during campaigns and elections.One Cebu kicked off its campaign sortie with a mass at the Barili Sports Complex in Cebu’s third district, where Garcia got a lot of votes for her to win the governorship in 2019. The tandem then made stops at eight other towns in southwestern Cebu: Dumanjug, Ronda, Alcantara, Moalboal, Badian, Alegria, Malabuyoc and Ginatilan.Former presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, who is seeking a Senate seat, also joined the campaign sortie.Durano-DavideSought for comment, Davide merely laughed off the criticism by the One Cebu officials, declining to comment.Former tourism secretary and Cebu gubernatorial candidate Ace Durano and Davide commenced their campaign sortie in the fifth district of Cebu Friday with a morning mass at the Sto. Tomas de Villanueva Parish in the Duranos’ hometown and bailiwick, Danao City.They then had a caravan and went around the district’s towns and cities. They were joined by their local candidates from the towns of Borbon, Carmen, Catmon, Compostela, Liloan, and Danao City.During the caravan, the group was seen tossing shirts, caps and other campaign paraphernalia to the people waiting in the streets.In a press conference ahead of the caravan, Durano said the Commission on Elections (Comelec) should revisit its rules and guidelines for the conduct of in-person campaigns since the alert level status of the province has already been downgraded.“I think Comelec needs to adjust and review the situation on the ground,” said Durano.He said that even before the official campaign period, it was difficult to prevent people from going near the candidates, taking selfies with them and hugging them unless Comelec officials themselves blocked the people from doing so.Under Comelec Resolution 10732, handshakes, hugs, kisses and going arm-in-arm in any activity that involves physical contact among the candidate, their companions, and the public are strictly prohibited in all alert level categories. Distribution of food and drink, and all other goods or items is also prohibited during campaign activities.SunStar reached out to AJ dela Torre-Orong, spokesperson of the Durano-Davide tandem for comment on the T-shirt and cap distribution. But she said they had yet to draft a statement.Coalition talksDurano said coalition talks are happening between the national leaders of his party, the Partido Pilipino sa Pagbabago (PPP), and the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas (PFP).Presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is the standard-bearer of PFP.“Ang naabot lang nako nga storya nga part sa talk is that PFP will endorse me for governor,” said Ace. (Part of the talks is that PFP will endorse me for governor.)Vice Governor Davide said their campaign is going well, especially in the southern part of the province wherein the tandem has enjoyed a great reception from the people.Red Durano, who is running for congressman, said most of the incumbent officials in the fifth district support their party, Barug Alang sa Kauswagan ug Demokrasya (Bakud) and the tandem of Ace and Junjun.Red added that he is confident that this time, he will win against incumbent Rep. Vincent Franco “Duke” Frasco, Governor Garcia’s son-in-law. (MKG, IRT)