Monday, June 14, 2021

Gwen Garcia's proposed senatorial bid gets mixed reactions

FIST BUMP. Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia (left) does a fist bump with Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Lloyd Dino (center) during the launching of the Lakbay Lokal travel exhibit at the SM Seaside City in Cebu City on Thursday, April 29, 2021. With them is Cebu 3rd District Rep. and Deputy Speaker Pablo John Garcia. (Amper Campaña)

CEBU’s incumbent and former leaders gave mixed reactions to the idea that Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia could run for the Senate in 2022.

In an interview, Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella said he supports the idea due to Garcia’s experience in local and national politics.

But Labella also respected Garcia’s statement that she plans to run for reelection in next year’s elections.

“Let us respect the decision of the governor. But in case she changes her mind and runs for senator, certainly I’ll support her. We need a Cebuano in the Senate, and she is the most qualified among the present crop of leaders,” Labella said.

But for Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes, Garcia should stay on as governor of Cebu, especially since the Province is still in the midst of a Covid-19 pandemic.

Though he agrees that the Senate should be represented by a Cebuano, Cortes said addressing the pandemic should take precedence to politics.

“Nindot man paminawon nga naa tay senador nga gikan gyud sa Sugbo, apan karong panahona sa pandemya nga atong giatubang, mas gikinahanglan si Governor Gwen sa mga Sugbuanon isip gobernadora,” Cortes added.

(It sounds nice that a Cebuano would serve as senator. But with the pandemic still ongoing, Cebu still needs Gwen to serve as governor.)

But for former Cebu City mayor Tomas Osmeña, Cebuanos should be given more choices when it comes to representation in the Senate.

“It’s good to have many candidates so the people can have more choices. I like to go to a restraurant with a long menu,” said Osmeña.

On Thursday, April 29, members of a multi-sectoral group launched a private initiative urging Garcia to run for the Senate in next year’s national elections.

In a press conference, members of the “Gwen Garcia for Senator Movement: Ang Probinsyana, Cebu’s Pride” said the governor’s work in promoting the revival of the local economy amid the pandemic was clearly an indication that she was meant for higher office.

But while Garcia welcomed the group’s support and declined their invitation, her brother and Deputy Speaker Pablo John “PJ” Garcia questioned the group’s motives. (JJL/KFD)


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