BY Monday, a total of five members of the Durano clan will sit in the Cebu Provincial Board (PB).

Carmen Remedios Durano-Meca, more popularly known as Ivy, won as president of the Philippine Councilors’ League (PCL) Provincial Federation last Wednesday, giving her a seat in the Cebu PB.

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She is the daughter of Danao City Vice Mayor Ramon “Nito” Durano III. She is also sister of Rep. Ramon “Red” Durano VI (Cebu, fifth district) and former tourism secretary Joseph “Ace” Durano.

Meca will sit in the board with cousin Jude Thaddeus Durano Sybico, son of Rosemarie Durano whom Sybico replaced this year. Rosemarie is the sister of Nito.

Another cousin, Peter John Calderon, is also a member of the PB as representative of the second district. Peter John's mother, Beatriz, is the sister of Nito.

Peter John's niece Bea Mercede Calderon also sits in the board as representative of the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) Provincial Federation.

Bea Mercede is the daughter of Emerito Calderon Jr., Peter John's brother.

PB Member Agnes Magpale, who is on her last term, also represents the fifth district with Sybico.

Magpale's grandmother is the sister of Nito's father.

But Magpale, the most senior of the Durano PB members, said the Duranos are not building a dynasty in the board. It just so happened that the five of them were elected.

This was also the common sentiment of their colleagues in the board.

Even Vice Gov. Gregorio Sanchez Jr., who is one of two opposition members of the PB, was not critical about the entry of Meca.

“It is the destiny of the Duranos,” said Sanchez.

All five PB members are also allied with the governor.

“We have each been elected and it won't change anything. We will work separately for our district,” Magpale told Sun.Star Cebu.

She also said each of them cannot be dictated on.

Magpale said while she is a Durano, she has links with other families in Cebu. Her maiden name is Almendras. She is the sister of Energy Sec. Jose Rene Almendras and the wife of the late justice Arsenio Magpale.

Samboan Mayor Raymond Calderon, brother of Peter John, does not think there will be changes in the dynamics of the PB despite the membership of the five.

And if the Duranos’ interests will be protected, the family cannot be faulted because Meca, Magpale, Sybico, Bea Mercede and Peter John were all elected.

“It cannot be denied nga mo-tilt jud (it will tilt) in (their) favor but that is democracy at work,” said PB Member Thadeo Ouano of the sixth district.

“Anyway, they were elected, not appointed,” said Thadeo, whose son PB Member Alfred Francis Ouano is the outgoing PCL representative at the PB.

Meca promised she will be her own person at the PB.

Sanchez believes Meca’s promise that she will not be a rubber stamp of the administration.

“The most important thing is good governance, whether you're with the opposition or the administration,” said Sanchez.

“I'm going to stand for what's right. I will work on fair ground, on what will be good for Cebu Province,” said Meca.

“Family names won't matter because if you're not capable of leading, you will not be elected,” she added.

She said they did not plan to have the five of them join the PB.

Bea, who is already pass the age limit for SK officials, may be replaced this October if the synchronized barangay and SK elections will push through.

Her uncle Peter John is on his second term while Sybico is on his first.

“I don't have a problem with that (having five members of the Durano clan in the PB) because all of them have performed well. They are not one-sided,” said PB Member Sun Shimura.

He said Magpale and Calderon consult the entire PB as far as legislation is concerned.

Former PB Member Jose Ma. Gastardo also shared the composition of the PB this year is a representation of the different leaders, who, in their own right, have the capacity to address the concerns of their districts or federations and in matters of legislation.

“The perception that it is controlled by one family, it doesn't follow that the interest become personal because they will have to address (the needs of) their respective districts,” said Gastardo.