In a bid to challenge the reelection effort of current Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, Joseph “Ace” Durano, has filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) for the next year’s gubernatorial elections.
The move now pits two of the province’s most prolific political clans against one another.
With most of Durano’s political allies having joined Garcia’s One Cebu party, the gubernatorial challenger has made it clear that his fight would not be an easy one, likening it to “climbing Mt. Apo”.
However, the 51-year-old remains confident that his focus on revitalizing the province’s health care system, bolstering Covid19 pandemic efforts, and boosting foreign tourism, will see him coming out on top.
“That is why we are here now because we will be the voice for all those who are unsatisfied with the Covid19 response of the provincial government,”
Durano said. “We can see that the hospitals are neglected. That is why Cebu has one of the highest Covid19 mortalities.” Durano stated.
Durano mentioned how he would forgo his opponent’s air purifier mandate, which has drawn flak from both the local transport and service groups but instead put in more work on an aggressive information drive to squash vaccine hesitancy.
The governor aspirant will be running under the banner of Partido Pilipino ng Pagbabago, the same party that urged Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte to run for president, while his running partner, incumbent Cebu Vice Governor Hilario Davide III, is part of the Liberal Party.
Over at the One Cebu camp, Garcia has shown to pay no heed to her opponent’s remarks on her Covid19 response, accusing Durano of being absent at the pandemic’s peak, only to surface once election season began.
Garcia and her party are part of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan group and have not personally made any endorsements of national-level candidates in the 2022 General Elections.