THE Duranos’ reign in the fifth district of Cebu spanning seven decades becomes a political issue every election year, but reelectionist Rep. Ramon “Red” Durano VI remains unfazed.
“At the end of the day, it’s the people who will decide who their elected officials are. Like myself, I went through every election with an opponent, so I’m just fortunate that my family and I still have the trust and support of the people,” Red said.
The matter was raised during Mega Cebu’s “Klarohay ‘Ta” forum on Monday afternoon, April 22.
The first part of the forum was attended by PDP Laban-One Cebu candidates Liloan Mayor Christina Frasco and her running mate Thelma Jordan, Compostela mayoral bet Ritchie Wagas and Danao City vice mayoral aspirant Michael Enriquez.
Bakud (Barug Alang sa Kauswagan ug Demokrasiya) party contenders led by Red, Compostela reelectionist Vice Mayor Josephine Abing and her running mate Froilan Quiño, and Liloan vice mayoral aspirant Jimmy Maglasang joined the second part of the forum.
Wagas repeatedly said the May 13 elections will mark an “important fight against tyrants” in the fifth district.
“We have been fighting for the restoration of genuine democracy and freedom in our country. Not to toot my own horn, I was part of the 1986 Revolution and we ousted a ruthless dictator. But sad to say, the dictator’s allies have remained in Danao and we’re still fighting until now. All these development goals in Mega Cebu will only be achieved if we dismantle the remains of dictatorship called recycled leadership, abusive dynasty,” Wagas said.
His party-mate Enriquez shared the sentiment, saying politicians from other families should be able to serve Danao City.
“This is not an isolated world. The fight in Danao will not only be a fight in Danao, but for the whole fifth district and the province of Cebu. For several years, only one family has reigned over Danao City... Let’s give Danao a new image. Danao will not only be associated with that one family name... I know that with the (President Rodrigo) Duterte administration, the dominant family name in Danao will be a thing of the past,” Enriquez said.
For nearly 70 years, the Duranos have lorded over the fifth district of Cebu.
The party’s clout has reached other parts of Cebu. Rep. Peter John Calderon (Cebu, 7th) is a Durano.
His mother, Beatriz, is the sister of Danao mayoral candidate Ramon “Nito” Durano III, the Durano patriarch.
Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale, who is running for governor, is also a member of the Durano family.
Magpale’s grandmother is the sister of Nito’s father.
While they are related to the Duranos, the President and his daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio (Hugpong ng Pagbabago founder), on separate occasions, have endorsed members of PDP-One Cebu, including Cebu Port Authority Commissioner Vincent “Duke” Frasco for fifth district congressman.
During the forum, Red said they do not depend on endorsements, adding that he wishes to continue his family’s legacy of public service.
“I believe the key here is ‘Do you have the trust and support of the people?’ Like I’ve said, we’re sensitive to the needs of the people and we put their interest before ours. That’s why our family lasted this long because we continue to have the trust (of the people) and each family member who is in public office knows that the position we have now is borrowed and not permanent... I know a lot of people are throwing this (allegations of political dynasty in the fifth district) against us. But for me, it’s not an issue. What we’re offering is a brand of service that is tried, tested and trusted,” Red said. (RTF)