2022 Philippine Elections

Sara Duterte names Cebu town mayor as spokesperson

Ryan Macasero
Sara Duterte names Cebu town mayor as spokesperson

MAYORS. Sara Duterte Carpio and Christina Garcia-Frasco pose for a photo after a recent meeting in Cebu.

Christina Garcia-Frasco's Facebook page

Christina Garcia-Frasco, a lawyer, is a second-term mayor of Liloan. She is the daughter of Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia and wife of Cebu 5th District Representative Duke Frasco.

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.

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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.

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After officially endorsing Duterte, Gwendolyn, who was then running for the seat of the 3rd District representative of Cebu, promised to “deliver” 1 million votes for him.

In 2019, Cebu was the most vote-rich province with over 3 million registered voters (including those from Cebu City and other component cities). – with reports from Pia Ranada/Rappler.com

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Ryan Macasero

Ryan covers social welfare for Rappler. He started at Rappler as social media producer in 2013, and later took on various roles for the company: editor for the #BalikBayan section, correspondent in Cebu, and general assignments reporter in the Visayas region. He graduated from California State University, East Bay, with a degree in international studies and a minor in political science. Outside of work, Ryan performs spoken word poetry and loves attending local music gigs. Follow him on Twitter @ryanmacasero or drop him leads for stories at ryan.macasero@rappler.com