‘Gwen’ Garcia Back As Cebu Guv

Six years after she left the Office of the Governor, Gwendolyn “Gwen” Garcia is now back at the helm of the Cebu Provincial Capitol after the Provincial Board of Canvassers (PBOC) proclaimed her as the duly-elected governor on Thursday morning.

PBOC chair, lawyer Jerome Brillantes, read the certificate of votes in front of the governor-elect who showed up at the Capitol Social Hall along with her family and supporters.

Brillante said Garcia won with a considerable margin of 288,723 over her rival, Vice Governor Agnes Magpale.

Garcia garnered a total of 887,290 votes and Magpale with 598,567 votes, after 100 percent of votes were already canvassed as of 11:30 a.m. Thursday.

In her speech after the proclamation, Garcia vowed to bring back the glory of the province of Cebu once she assumes post.

“We had won. This is our victory!” she pronounced.

The governor-elect recalled how she was “forced out” of her office through “an illegal suspension” by a rival political camp.

“I said then the authority cannot be thwarted by an illegal suspension order issued by the powers-that-be because you elected this governor not once, not twice, but three times,” she said.

She thanked her father, former Cebu governor and House Deputy Speaker Pablo Garcia, his political allies, and supporters who were present to witness her proclamation.

Before she got elected as Third District representative for two terms, Garcia served as governor of Cebu from 2004 to 2013. She was however, suspended in December of 2012.

The Ombudsman earlier ordered her disqualification from holding public office for grave misconduct over the purchase of the PHP98.9-million Balili property in Tinaan, Naga City in 2008.

However, the Court of Appeals reversed the Ombudsman’s decision last week, which allowed Garcia to continue with her candidacy for governor.

Before the proclamation, Gwen’s brothers Pablo John and Marlon, were also proclaimed as the duly-elected congressman of the Third District replacing her and the mayor of Barili town, respectively.

Gwen’s daughter, Christina, won a second term as mayor of Liloan, Cebu, while her husband, as Fourth District representative.

PBOC has likewise proclaimed as vice governor-elect, incumbent Governor Hilario Davide III, who garnered a total of 781,312 against Daphne Salimbangon’s 618,828 votes, or a winning margin of 162,484.

With the result, Davide will be presiding the Provincial Board of Cebu dominated by Garcia’s allies.

Garcia and Salimbangon ran under the ruling party Partido Demokratiko Pilipino (PDP-Laban) and Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), while Magpale and Davide ran under the Nationalist People’s Coalition and Liberal Party, respectively. (PNA)

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