Former Danao City Vice Mayor Ramon “Boboy” Durano IV will go up against his cousin, incumbent Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale whose Barug Alang sa Kauswagan ug Demokrasya (Bakud) party allied itself with the administration Liberal Party (LP).
The announcement came amid reports that two Provincial Board (PB) members and two mayors left the One Cebu fold and were sworn in as LP members in front of Transportation and Communications Secretary Mar Roxas yesterday (see related story page 39).
“I’ve known that all along. It’s alright. Anybody is welcome (to seek a post in the government.),” Magpale told Cebu Daily News.
“Boboy” Durano went to the office of Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia at the Capitol yesterday.
“It’s less than 24 hours before the governor will announce One Cebu’s candidate for vice governor. Let’s just wait. Let’s give it a little more thrill,” Boboy told reporters.
Pablo John said One Cebu will formally reveal its vice gubernatorial candidate during the oath taking of One Cebu’s members in Danao City at the Danao City Gym this afternoon.
“That would be a big event. We have chosen One Cebu’s candidate for vice governor. I think there will be an announcement (today). I promised that my runningmate will be announced before this month ends,” the congressman said.
Boboy was seen with Pablo John during yesterday’s Haladaya sa Kandaya Festival in Daanbantayan town.
Most officials who were present like Rep. Benhur Salimbangon of Cebu’s 4th district, former senator Miguel Zubiri and PB members Sun Shimura and Joven Mondigo all introduced him to the crowd as the next vice governor of Cebu.
In his fiesta message, Rep.Garcia of Cebu’s 3rd district also introduced him as his “partner”. “My partner, you will see him next week, next month…” he said.
Governor Garcia also said Boboy will keep coming back to Daanbantayan from now on.
In an earlier interview, Boboy said he initially had a talk with the governor and Pablo John, One Cebu secretary general, on their offer.
He said he wanted to keep his options open then.
He said he wanted One Cebu to be honest and tell him if he ranks well in their survey.
Boboy said he would give way to a deserving candidate to run for vice governor.
In an interview, Magpale said she and Boboy lived in the same subdivision in Danao City. She said going against a relative isn’t new in politics.
“Even as vice governor, I don’t feel comfortable talking about my achievements. But since you asked, well… I have the experience. I have served well. The people of Danao know how I served them. My clean record,” Magpale said.
Magpale said the battle between her and Boboy remains a political issue and is nothing personal. Hilario “Junjun” Davide III, LP Cebu’s gubernatorial candidate, doesn’t consider Boboy a threat in Magpale’s political bid.
“I don’t look it that way (Boboy being a threat). Of course, let’s leave it to the people. At the end of the day, it’s the people who shall decide,” Davide told Cebu Daily News.
Davide said he was happy that One Cebu has chosen its candidate for vice governor.
“At least, they (One Cebu) now have a candidate for vice governor to face Vice Governor Magpale. It’s their choice. We’ll wait for the result of the elections,” he said.
Edge in experience
When asked about Magpale’s edge over Boboy, Davide said “she (Magpale) served her district very well.
She has done a lot; her contributions to the province like in the field of tourism and women.”
“Experience-wise, she (Magpale) has the edge. She also has the exposure,” Davide said.
Magpale and Boboy Durano are first degree cousins since Magpale’s mother is the sister of Boboy’s father.
They are also second degree cousins since Magpale’s father Josefino Almendras is the first cousin of Boboy’s father, Danao City Mayor Ramon “Boy” Durano Jr.
Though a Bakud member, Councilor John Cane said Boboy’s candidacy is welcomed.
He also said Magpale’s exposure to the province spans 20 years while Boboy’s exposure is limited to Danao City only.
He said Boboy is the eldest of Mayor Durano’s five children and served as barangay captain of Poblacion, Danao City before he became vice mayor of Danao City for nine years. His tenure ended in 2001.
When Danao City Vice Mayor Ramon “Nito” Durano III assumed as mayor in 2001, Boboy was appointed city administrator.
In 2007, Nito endorsed Boboy to former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Arroyo appointed Boboy as one of the directors of the Development Bank of the Philippines.
A Bakud insider who requested anonymity said Boboy’s selection was intended to provoke them after Bakud dropped its alliance with One Cebu.
The same insider also said Nito is confident of their chances because of their good track record and their political machinery which has the support of 36 out of 42 barangays.
“We rely on our track record. Bakud party has existed for almost 20 years already,” he said.
The insider said six other barangay captains are even unsure if they would remain in Mayor Durano’s camp and already sent feelers to the LP. /Ador Vincent Mayol and Jhunnex Napallacan with Correspondent Carmel Loise Matus