Before we celebrate the Christmas tomorrow, I have to tackle this issue about the preventive suspension of Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia for the next six months by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) last 20 December.
Gwendolyn Garcia has been suspended for the next six months by the DILG in accordance to an administrative case filed by the deceased Cebu Vice Governor, Gregorio Sanchez. The complain stated that Gwendolyn Garcia abused her authority by 1) encroaching on the appointing authority of the complainant over employees of the Office of the Vice-Governor, 2) slashing the budget of the Office of the Vice-Governor by 61%, 3) stopping the publication of the Legislative Gavel and non-payment of the honoraria of the publication staff, 4) transferring the funding of the Legislative Research and Codification Project from the Office of the Vice Governor to the Office of the Governor, 5) hiring consultants without prior authority from the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, 6) withholding the overtime pay of the personnel of the Office of the Vice Governor, and, 7) issuing a check worth P10,000,000.00 without prior authority from the SP. (Click here for the full text of the suspension)
The suspension order was signed late July of this year by the deceased DILG Secretary Jessie Robredo, however the enforcement was only realized last Wednesday for unknown reasons which I suspected that the suspension order had to be delayed until December, so that Gwendolyn Garcia could not use the financial resources of the Cebu Provincial Government to propel her younger brother, Pablo John to the governorship this coming election in May and to give the Liberal Party-backed candidate, Hilario Davide III an advantage over Pablo John Garcia.
The governor post was taken over by Agnes Magpale, the vice governor and candidate for the same position with Hilario Davide as her governor this coming election. When the suspension order was enforced, Gwendolyn Garcia refused to abide the suspension order and have to stay herself in the governor’s office until this moment of writing this blog entry. Gwendolyn Garcia had to mobilize her supporters from all over the Cebu Province with my estimation of over hundreds of supporters attending the vigil in support for her last Wednesday. On the other hand, acting Cebu Governor, Agnes Magpale has been staying at the Legislative Complex behind the main building of the Cebu Provincial Capitol until this moment and able to perform her duties as acting governor like shutting the Sugbo TV off the air.
As a registered voter of Cebu Province, in order to assure the rule of law, I think it would be preferable for Gwendolyn Garcia to flee the Cebu Provincial Capitol and let Agnes Magpale to perform her duties as acting governor, so that the services that the Cebu Province have provided to the constituents including me, not be compromised. Whether it was unjust for the part of Gwendolyn Garcia, she need to abide the suspension order, so that other elected officials who might be suspended in the future, not easily defy the order from the top just to avoid facing the charges in proper courts. This is my wish for Gwendolyn Garcia for Christmas.