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Late mayor’s son now Barili’s town councilor
By: Eleanor Valeros | Published Friday, October 30, 2020
Pablo John "John-John" Garcia IV, eldest son of the late Barili Mayor Marlon Garcia, is now the eighth member of the town council. (Tonee Despojo)

Pablo John “John-John” Garcia IV, 39 years old, took oath as the eighth member of the Sangguniang Bayan of Barili Friday, October 30, in Barangay Nasipit officiated by Deputy Speaker Pablo John Garcia.

In his acceptance speech, he thanked his father’s siblings, Governor Gwendolyn Garcia and Deputy Speaker Pablo John Garcia, for the trust given to him as he takes on his duties in public office. 

John-John, eldest son of the late Barili Mayor Marlon Garcia, said his priority programs would be in line with his father’s vision of making Barili the newest promising tourist destination in Cebu Province.

He also committed to push for the improvement of the town’s municipal hall, citing how cramped up the office spaces have become.

The new councilor revealed that he initially had second thoughts about getting into politics because the Garcias' impressive track record has set the bar high in public service.

Even at an early age, John-John was already exposed to politics since he grew up with his grandparents former Governor Pablo Garcia and the late Judge Esperanza Fiel Garcia in Buhisan, Cebu City. 

“Pagka-tinuod lang, bag-o ra ko tan-awon sa politika pero akong pamahaw, paniudto, panihapon kay politika since I grew up with my grandparents," he shared.

He said it seemed hard for him to follow the footsteps of his grandparents, his father, and his father’s siblings.

"Lisod sundan ang nahimo sa akong amahan, labaw na sa akong apohan nga kanhi gobernador sa Lalawigan sa Sugbo ug kongresista, ang gitawag og 'Don Pabling' sa Kongreso, nga ako gyung nasaksihan because I worked for him in the 13th Congress. Respetado kaayo sa natad sa serbisyo publiko,” he said. 

“Labaw pa nga lisud sundan ang nahimo sa akong iyaan nga si Gov. Gwen nga labing unang babayeng gobernador sa Sugbo ug nahibalik sa ikaupat nga termino. Ug ang akong uyoan nga si Deputy Speaker Pablo John," he added.

However, when Mayor Marlon died, he felt the responsibility to continue his legacy which led him to accept the appointment as a councilor in Barili.

“But kon makakita ko sa Mantalongon livestock market makaingon gyud ko nga kang daddy man gyud ning agi, sa una pwerte ning lapuka, karon hapsay na ug hamugaway ang parking,” John-John said.

Deputy Speaker Garcia told John-John to be faithful to his sworn oath. 

"Dakong hagit ang pagpanerbisyo. Bisan unsa nimo kamaayo pangitaan gyud ka'g sayop. Inig abot niining mga hagit hinumdumi lang ang imong ngan - Pablo, ang tinubdan ug tamdanan sa matinud-anon nga panerbisyo, ang legasiya ni Pabling Garcia," he said.

Governor Garcia also advised John-John to maintain the Garcias’ brand of public service.

"John, nasunod gyud nimo ang kind and gentle nature ni Marlon, ang iyang pakitungo sa iyang isig kaingon. Tinuod bug-at ang responsibilidad sa pagpangalagad, but you are a Garcia. It is your responsibility to continue this public service nga tatak Garcia, nga kanang dili sulti ang pabuhaton, buhat ang pasultion," she said.

Third district Provincial Board Member Atty. John Ismael "Jimbo" Borgonia, Barili Mayor Julieto Flores, Vice Mayor Luisito Ponsica, Jr., municipal councilors, barangay captains of Barili's 42 barangays, and Association of Barangay Captains president Elma Bargamento witnessed the oath-taking ceremony.  (Eleanor Valeros)