Cebu’s Garcia vs Davide: Continuity or change?
In Cebu, LP's Junjun Davide is challenging the Garcias' 18-year hold on the capitol. Will Cebuanos choose change or continuity?

CEBU, Philippines – In vote-rich Cebu, the Liberal Party’s Hilario “Junjun” Davide III is challenging the Garcias’ 18-year hold on power.

His rival, Congressman Pablo John “PJ” Garcia, promises to continue the legacy of his sister, suspended Gov Gwen Garcia.

Ayee Macaraig reports. 

It’s calm and quiet in Cebu’s capitol, a far cry from this scene just 5 months ago.




I will continue to discharge my functions as governor of Cebu and if they want to stop me then they’ll have to do that over my dead body.

Governor Gwen Garcia faced suspension in December, holing up at her office for one month until she was padlocked out of the capitol.

While the standoff ended, the political battle in the country’s most vote-rich province is far from over.

Gwen’s youngest brother, Congressman Pablo John “PJ” Garcia, seeks to reclaim the capitol now that his sister’s term is up.

If he wins, he will be the third Garcia in a row to be Cebu governor, a post his father Congressman Pabling Garcia held before Gwen. 

After losing to Gwen in 2010, Hilario “Junjun” Davide III of the Liberal Party is again running to prevent this.



Imagine how many Garcias are running now, how many Garcias ran in 2010: the suspended governor, the father, the brother, two brothers running for mayor. That’s a great insult to the Cebuanos. Sila na lang ba? Wala na bang iba?

While Gwen now vies to be congresswoman of the 3rd district, Cebu’s controversial governor looms large in the gubernatorial race.

Davide says Cebu has had enough of 18 years of Garcia leadership, marred by scandals like the allegedly anomalous purchase of the Balili Estate that led to the filing of graft cases against Gwen.

The LP bet contrasts the Garcias’ image with the reputation of his father, former Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr.

But what Davide calls wasteful governance PJ considers progress.

He is running to continue his sister’s legacy, which he says made Cebu the number one province.

Despite his family’s resources and decades-long grip on power, PJ says Gwen’s suspension makes him the underdog.



Is he David or has he become Goliath? He’s the president’s boy. He’s clearly who Malacañang wants to be governor. When Mar took over, the governor was suspended so isn’t it clear that this election for them is about 2016? 

To ordinary Cebuanos, the elections are not just about politics.



it is important that we have a leader who can really effectively carry our voice before the national leadership, somebody with credibility, somebody with integrity.

As to who that man is is a question Cebu’s 2.5 million voters will ultimately answer with their ballots.

Davide versus Garcia.

Both lawyers and scions of big names in Cebu politics.

Despite these similarities, there’s a stark difference.

One promises continuity, the other change.

Cebuanos will have to choose the man who deserves to lead a province that’s not just an economic hub but also a key political battleground.

Ayee Macaraig, Rappler, Cebu. –

Watch Part 2: Can LP end the Garcia dynasty in Cebu? 

This is part of Rappler’s #PHvote series on key provinces. Watch out for other text and video reports on Cebu’s gubernatorial race. 

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