THE president and chief operating officer (CEO) of the company that intends to reclaim 300 hectares of the foreshores of Minglanilla town is running for governor of Cebu Province.

Engr. Desiderio Tago Estinozo, president and chief operating officer of DTE Construction and Development Corp., also known as Desing, filed his certificate of candidacy. He is an independent aspirant.

Estinozo, who served as vice mayor of Oslob town, southern Cebu in the 1980s, said he considers himself a dark horse in his bid for governor.

He is among the six gunning for the highest post in the province and will be facing Gov. Hilario Davide III, former GSIS president Winston Garcia, Roliveth Cortes (party not indicated), Nonito Magnanao (party not indicated) and Leandro Patalinghug of Kilusang Bagong Lipunan in the 2016 race.

“They (gubernatorial candidates) are already good but I can do better. I am not a trapo (traditional politician). I am a technocrat,” said Estinozo.


“There is a need to change Cebu. Ang pobre nisamot kapobre (the poor are getting poorer) and I strongly believe that I can do better, being an engineer,” he said.

Estinozo is a native of Oslob whose ancestral home is in Barangay Pungtod. His daughter lives in Minglanilla and his wife lives in Manila.

After his stint in local politics, he went to Manila then worked abroad to practice his profession as a licensed mechanical and electrical engineer. He graduated from the Cebu Institute of Technology and earned his honorary degree as a doctor in business from the University of Southern Philippines.

Estinozo earlier wrote the Provincial Board (PB) and asked PB Member Grecilda Sanchez why the Minglanilla Municipal Government endorsed Ming-Mori Development Corp. (MMDC) without informing him.

MMDC has proposed a P1-billion joint venture project with Minglanilla to reclaim 100 hectares of Barangays Calajoan and Tulay’s foreshores, at no cost to the government. 

Open to a compromise

When sought for comment, Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale said that the committee on provincial properties, headed by Sanchez and the committee on complaints and investigation, are studying Estinozo’s proposal and complaint against the Minglanilla government for entertaining MMDC.

Estinozo, this time, said he is willing to share the implementation of the project with MMDC. He said that MMDC can reclaim 100 hectares and DTE will develop the remaining 200 hectares.

“But we will choose which area we will develop,” he said.

Minglanilla officials earlier said that it is now up to the Philippine Reclamation Authority what to do next, since all papers of both bidders are in the authority’s possession.