Top execs from 4 Camotes towns jump ship to Frasco; Bakud says defection ‘unfortunate’

THE top officials of the Camotes Islands’ four towns have formally transferred allegiance to the group of Deputy Speaker Vincent Franco “Duke” Frasco (Cebu, 5th).

On Monday, Nov. 21, 2022, the incumbent officials of the municipalities of San Francisco, Tudela, Poro and Pilar formally took their oath before Frasco, his wife and Tourism Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco and Liloan Mayor Aljew Frasco.

Taking their oath were San Francisco Mayor Al Arquillano and Vice Mayor Aly Arquillano, Tudela Mayor Jojo Solante and Vice Mayor Erwin Yu, Poro Mayor Gary Rama and Vice Mayor Dina Rama, Pilar Mayor Winky Santiago and Vice Mayor Chiziline Maratas.

Previously, the officials also took their oath with One Cebu before Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia.

The officials were previously allied with Bakud Party led by the political Durano clan of Cebu’s Fifth District before deciding to jump ship to Frasco’s side.

Political reality

In a statement sent to SunStar Cebu on Tuesday, Nov. 22, Bakud chairman emeritus and Danao City Vice Mayor Ramon “Nito” Durano III told SunStar Cebu that the move of Camotes’ mayors to defect from their party was “unfortunate but part of political reality.”

“We understand the circumstances and we do not harbor ill feelings towards defecting party members, partners and friends. In fact, prior to any of this, they have reached out and informed us about their plans,” Durano added.

Durano assured that their party will continue to work for their constituents in the district despite their allies’ defection.

When Frasco first ran for Congress in 2019, only the mayors of Liloan and Borbon were allied with him. Cebu’s Fifth District is composed of 11 local government units (LGU).

Now that the officials of the Camotes Islands’ towns have defected to Frasco, the leaders of 10 of 11 LGUs under the district are allied with the congressman.

Frasco thanked the people of the Fifth District for their continued support. He also expressed his sincere gratitude to the party members across the district who have been with him since the start and positively responded to the unification of Camotes.

“I am grateful as well to the newest members of Team Frasco who now join us in our cause to bring hope and change to the district after 70 years,” Frasco said.

“With this unprecedented unity, we shall usher in the continued transformation of the Camotes Islands, positively uplifting the lives of the people as we harness its potential to become the tourism gem of Cebu,” he added. (JKV, PR)