Christina Garcia-Frasco, mayor of Liloan town in northern Cebu and daughter of Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, will serve as spokesperson of Sara Duterte, Garcia-Frasco herself confirmed in a Facebook post on Saturday, July 17.
“Daghan kaayong salamat, Mayor Inday Sara Duterte sa imong pagsalig sa pagpili kanako isip Spokesperson (Thank you Mayor Inday Sara Duterte for your trust in picking me as your spokesperson),” Garcia-Frasco said in the post.
The announcement comes after Duterte, the current mayor of Davao City, met with Governor Garcia on July 9.
After this meeting, Duterte announced that she was “open” to running for president, but has not yet confirmed that she is actually running.
According to the latest Pulse Asia survey released on Tuesday, July 13, a Duterte-Duterte tandem, with Sara Duterte as the standard bearer and her father, current President Rodrigo Duterte, as her running-mate, is the first choice for Filipinos, with 28% saying they would vote for the tandem.
The fact that both of Sara's parents trace their roots to Cebu gives her an advantage. The Duterte family is from Cebu City and Danao City, while her mother Elizabeth Zimmerman also traces her roots to Tuburan town in northern Cebu.
The elder Duterte capitalized on his connection to Cebu during his 2016 campaign in the province and won there overwhelmingly, with 1.1 million Cebuano votes.
Garcia-Frasco has been mayor of Liloan since 2016. Duke Frasco, her husband, is Cebu’s 5th District Representative and was mayor of the same town.
Rappler has reached out to Garcia-Frasco for comment, but she has not yet replied as of this writing.
According to a staff member of Sara Duterte's, the governor of Davao del Norte, Anthony Del Rosario, will serve as spokesperson of Duterte's party Hugpong ng Pagbabago, while Garcia-Frasco will be spokesperson for Duterte specifically.
The Garcia family, which heads local party One Cebu, supported Rodrigo Duterte's presidential run in 2016 halfway through the campaign period, after initially supporting former Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay.
After officially endorsing Duterte, Gwendolyn Garcia, who was then running for the seat of the 3rd District of Cebu in the House of Representatives, promised to “deliver" 1 million votes for him.
Cebu is still currently the most vote-rich province with over 3 million registered voters. – with reports from Pia Ranada/Rappler.com