FORMER Tourism Secretary Joseph “Ace” Durano has formally announced his candidacy for governor of Cebu in the upcoming 2022 elections.
He will be joined by incumbent Vice Governor Hilario Davide III who will run for re-election.
“It took time for me to decide because honestly, I already retired from politics and I was doing okay in my private life with my family. But considering the current situation in the Province because of Covid, if we remain to address it the way we are currently doing so, then this pandemic would affect us for a much prolonged time,” said Durano in a mix of Cebuano and English.
“This means that it would take a long time for us to see and be with our families again, for us to go to different places, and sadly, for us to live in fear of having to lose someone we love because of Covid-19,” Durano said, explaining what he meant by how the Province’s current pandemic measures would affect residents in Cebu for a prolonged period of time.
Last September 27, around 120 group leaders in Cebu expressed their support for a Durano-Davide tandem in the 2022 national elections.
Durano is the son of Danao City Mayor Ramon “Nito” Durano III and the grandson of Ramon “Manong Amon” Durano, considered to be a political kingpin in Northern Cebu.
Durano, a lawyer, is also the brother of former Cebu congressman Ramon “Red” Durano VI (Cebu, 5th).
Before he became DOT Secretary at the time of former President Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo, Durano also served as congressman of Cebu’s Fifth District from 2013 to 2016.
Meanwhile, in a statement, Davide said Durano’s track record as representative of the Fifth District and Tourism Secretary speaks for itself.
“I have known Ace for quite some time. He is a very good person. He is upright, sincere, humble, has the ability, calm and really worthy to become a leader of us, Cebuanos. His track record as representative of the Fifth District and tourism secretary speaks for itself,” said Davide in a mix of Cebuano and English.
Earlier, the vice governor had hinted that this would be his last term.
But he said he decided to seek another term because, according to him, Durano would be an ideal running mate with their same brand of leadership and priority programs.
Davide, who served as governor for two terms from 2013 to 2019, made health the number one priority in his development agenda allocating a big chunk of Capitol’s budget for health programs and projects, including the improvement of provincial and district hospitals, as well as the hiring of more health workers.
Following reports that Durano would challenge her reelection bid next year, Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia earlier said she considered the former Tourism secretary a “most worthy opponent.”
“If former Secretary Ace Durano would decide to run for governor, then I will be most honored to face him because he is a most worthy opponent,” Garcia said on Sept. 16, 2021.
Following rumors that Durano was set to challenge Garcia, members of the Bakud Party in northern Cebu started to jump ship and joined Garcia’s party, One Cebu.
On September 24, Sogod Mayor Richard Streegan and his wife, town Vice Mayor Lissa Marie “Moonyeen” Durano-Streegan shifted their allegiance to One Cebu.
Moonyeen is Durano’s first cousin.
Aside from Sogod, Bakud’s allies in Carmen town also shifted to One Cebu a day before.
On September 23, Carmen Mayor Carlo Villamor, Vice Mayor Al Damiles and three municipal councilors took oath before Garcia as new members of One Cebu Party, according to a report by Sugbo News. (JKV, PR)