Dr. Rowena Burden – Cebu Physician and Critic of Governor Gwen Dies

Cebu physician Dr. Rowena Burden, a vocal critic of Governor Gwen Garcia, has passed away

DR. ROWENA BURDEN – The Cebu-based physician and staunch critic of Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia, passed away at the age of 58 after a sudden cardiac arrest on December 15.

Her nephew, Kristian Burden, confirmed the news, stating that she had complained of back pain, and shortly afterward, doctors declared her dead at Chong Hua Hospital. “This morning, around 5 am, her assistant Mechelle, told us that tita (aunt) was suffering from back pain and that they were going to Chong Hua Hospital,” Kristian said.

She leaves behind two children, Kimberley Therese Gothong and Khrys Burden, along with four grandchildren. As of now, the family has not issued a formal statement on her passing.

Dr. Burden was known for her outspoken views against Governor Garcia, accusing her of abuse of power, corruption, and ethical violations on multiple occasions through social media. In October, before her demise, Dr. Burden revealed to Rappler that Governor Garcia had filed 20 cyber libel complaints against her.

In 2013, she participated in protests against the Pork Barrel System and later became a coordinator for the Cebu for Duterte movement in 2016. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Burden led humanitarian missions and provided medical aid to communities in the province.

Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia

The Cebu-based cardiologist had also been involved in controversy earlier in September when she made sensitive remarks against actor Jay Manalo, implicating him as the “actor boytoy” linked to a politician, likely referring to Governor Garcia. Jay Manalo denied any involvement, expressing surprise and asserting that he does not know Governor Garcia. He appealed not to involve his name in the controversy for the sake of his family, stating that he has not visited Cebu recently, except for a celebrity basketball event.

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