By Calvin Cordova
CEBU CITY—In politics, expect the unexpected.
That is the observation of former Cebu governor Gwen Garcia on the decision of incumbent governor Hilario Davide III to run for vice governor instead of seeking a third term.
“Nothing surprises me. In politics, you have to expect the unexpected,” said the Cebu Third District congressman, who served as Cebu governor for nine years.
Garcia, however, admitted that she found it unusual that Davide slid down to vice governor and allowed vice governor Agnes Magpale to run for governor in next year’s elections.
“Many were surprised and shocked with his decision. He is the incumbent and still eligible for one more term and yet he is sliding down. That doesn’t usually happen,” said Garcia.
Davide told reporters last Tuesday his decision not to seek reelection was meant to protect his supporters from pressures and threats from influential parties.
Garcia was at the provincial office of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Wednesday to witness the filing of the certificate of candidacy (COC) of her running mate Daphne Salimbangon.
A member of an influential political clan in northern Cebu, Salimbangon is the daughter of Cebu 4th District Rep. Benhur Salimbangon.
“I find in her the dynamism, the passion and she is trustworthy. The Salimbangons and the Garcias have been together for a long time. Benhur and me have been staunch allies,” said Garcia.
Garcia said her running mate has the political clout that will help ensure their victories.
“Daphne is well accepted by many, many mayors. They know how active she is,” Garcia said.
Magpale finally filed her COC for governor on Wednesday.
Garcia said she considers the 76-year-old Magpale as a worthy opponent.
“I ran in the five previous elections and every time I run, I treat my opponent as the most worthy. I avoid being complacent,” she said.
The last day for filing COCs also saw Boyet Cortes file his candidacy for governor.
It is the third time that Cortes is running for governor. He ran in 2010 and 2013 and lost in both occasions.
Cortes, who hosts a television program, Let’s Do Business, was arrested in Caloocan City in July 2017 for allegedly demanding R50,000 from an applicant at the Bureau of Customs.