Cebu physician and Garcia critic Rowena Burden dies at 58

John Sitchon

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Cebu physician and Garcia critic Rowena Burden dies at 58

ADVOCATE. Cebu-based physician Rowena Burden attended a Pride March in Mandaue City on June 25, 2023.

Rowena Burden

Cebu physician Rowena Burden was a known critic of Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia, who filed 20 complaints for cyber libel against her this year

CEBU, Philippines – Cebu physician Rowena Burden died at the age of 58 after a sudden cardiac arrest on Friday, December 15. 

Kristian Burden, the physician’s nephew, confirmed this in a chat message with Rappler on Friday morning.

“This morning, around 5 am, her assistant Mechelle, told us that tita (aunt) was suffering from back pain and that they were going to Chong Hua Hospital,” the nephew said.

Moments later, according to Kristian, the doctors declared Burden dead. 

Burden was a staunch critic of Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia, calling out the official multiple times on social media for alleged abuse of power, corruption, and violations of the code of conduct and ethics for public officials.

In 2013, the physician participated in protests led by the Cebu Coalition against the Pork Barrel System, and became a coordinator of the Cebu for Duterte movement in 2016.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Burden led humanitarian missions and contributed medical aid to communities in the province.

Before her passing, Burden told Rappler in October that 20 complaints for cyber libel had been filed against her by Garcia before the local prosecutor’s office.

Burden is survived by her two children, Kimberley Therese Gothong and Khrys Burden, and her four grandchildren. 

As of this writing, the family has yet to issue a formal statement on Burden’s passing. –

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