WITHIN a single three-year term, Agnes Almendras Magpale rose from being an elected Provincial Board member to vice governor and then acting governor of Cebu province—all through succession.
Before that, she established herself as a a political figure whose forte was legislation and advocacy of women’s and children’s rights and over 20 years in government service.
In April 2011, after Vice Gov.Gregorio Sanchez Jr. of the Liberal Party died of lung cancer, she stepped up as vice governor being the PB member with the highest number of votes in the 2010 election.
By operation of law, she had to serve the unexpired term left by her predecessor.
On Dec. 19, 2012 minutes after the Department of Interior and Local Government served a six-month suspension order on Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, Magpale took her oath as acting governor.
As the impasse drags on, with Garcia holed up in the Governor’s Office, refusing to leave “over my dead body”, 70-year-old Mapgale has started running affairs of the provincial government from her own office in the Legislative Building. in the Capitol compound.
Magpale started her political career in 1971 as vice mayor of Danao City.
In 1992, she was elected to the Cebu Provincial Board representing the 5th legislative district.
She won the highest number of votes, earning her the position of presiding officer pro-tempore from 1992 to 2001.
After 2001, she was appointed by then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as member of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board.
She returned to the Provincial Board in 2004 under the ticket of then Vice Governor John Gregory Osmeña. The Durano-backed Barug alang sa Kauswagan ug Demokrasya (Bakud) party later allied with the One Cebu Party of Garcia in the 2007 and 2010 polls.
Magpale is a widow. Her husband Justice Arsenio J. Magpale of the Court of Appeals passed away in 2010. They have three children, Josefina Patricia, a lawyer and now undersecretary of the Dept. of Energy; Jose Paolo, also a lawyer; and Miguel Antonio, a PB member.
Born on Jan. 21, 1942, Magpale is the eldest of six children of the late Josefino Durano Almendras of Danao City and Rosita de la Serna Dimataga of Lapu-Lapu City.
As a Durano, Magpale belongs to the clan whose bailiwick is the vote-rich 5th district of Cebu.
After graduating from Associate in Arts (AA) course in 1959 at the University of Sto. Tomas in Manila, she took up a bachelor’s degree in Nutrition at the University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City in 1963.
She then pursued a master’s degree in Nutrition at Drexel University in Philadelphia, USA, in 1965. She also earned a Certificate in Local Administration and Development (17th LAPD) from the DILG and UP. She also have an Organizational Development and Transformation (DODT) at the Cebu Doctors College in Cebu City in 2001. /Dale G. Israel, Senior Reporter