CEBU Gov. Hilario Davide III said he is not threatened by the possibility that Deputy Speaker Gwendolyn Garcia will run against him in next year’s midterm elections.
“That’s her right. She can run. Come on. Kung ganahan mong madagan, mas maayo para daghan ta (If you want to run, the more, the merrier),” Davide told reporters yesterday.
Davide’s statement came after Garcia announced in a radio DyHP interview that she is “seriously considering” running for governor next year after the Office of the Ombudsman dismissed her over a contract to supply filling materials for what used to be the Balili property in Naga. While he admits that Garcia still has legal remedies she can avail herself of, he welcomes the idea of her challenging him for the governorship in 2019.
Garcia said that the Ombudsman decision to dismiss her from public service is one of the reasons she is considering running for governor again. Garcia also believes that the dismissal order against her supported rumors that Davide was afraid of her running against him.
She cited the close relationship between Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales and former Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr., the incumbent governor’s father.
Davide, during a press conference, scoffed at statements that he was afraid of Garcia. He lost to Garcia in 2010, the first time he ran for governor. But when term limits prevented Garcia from seeking reelection in 2013, Davide, a former Cebu City councilor, defeated Garcia’s brother, former congressman Pablo John Garcia. He defeated another of Garcia’s brothers, former Government Service Insurance System president Winston Garcia, in May 2016.
Gwen Garcia was elected as Cebu’s first woman governor in 2004 and served three consecutive terms, just like her father former Deputy Speaker Pablo Garcia. (JKV)