She inaugurated a Senior Citizen’s Building and shook hands with some of the 200 elderly folk gathered near the stage.
She also introduced Vice President Jejomar Binay of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) as the “next president”.
The governor was accompanied by Binay, her brother Rep. Pablo John Garcia, Naga City Mayor Valdemar Chiong, UNA senatorial bets Milagros Magsaysay and Ernesto Maceda, Gerald Anthony “Samsam” Gullas and other officials.
Binay vowed to give P24 million to be used for a housing program in Naga City and urged the audience to support the governor.
“Dapat manalo si governor sa sunod na halalan. Huwag ninyo pababayaan si governor (The governor should win in the senatorial elections. Don’t leave her behind),” he said.
The visit did not include a side trip to the sprawling 24.7-hectare Balili estate bought by the Province of Cebu four years ago, for which she has been charged in the Sandiganbayan with two counts of graft and one count of technical malversation of funds because most of the land is underwater or classified as land in the public domain.
A fence and locked gate with a security guard keep people out of the Balili property, part of which is being developed by the Capitol as a coal ash disposal pit for the wastes of a Korean power plant in Naga.
Garcia shook the hands of several of 200 senior citizens gathered around a stage by the sea.
“Nindot kaayo tan-awon og daw napuno ang akong kasing-kasing. Sincero kaayo og matinud-anon ang ilang pagdawat namo. (My heart is filled with happiness. People accepted us sincerely),” Garcia told reporters.
In an interview, Garcia referred to the Balili lot fiasco when she said something good came of it.
“There is really truth to the saying that goes “out of every crisis, there’s an opportunity. Behind every cloud is a silver lining.” In every evil plan, something good happens, and that began yesterday when government officials and various sectors manifested their continued support (during my State of the Province Address),” Garcia said.
“What my adversaries are doing to me seem to encourage more support from the people.”
“Taliwala niining ilang gihimo nga tingali paguyog kanako, pagdaot sa atong mga tinguha nga tagaan og tingog ang sugbo didto sa senado, wa magpatandog ang katawhan(Amid attempts to shake me and to destroy my plans to give Cebu a voice in the Senate, people stood their ground),” she said.
Binay, who was present during Garcia’s SOPA last Friday at the Cebu International Convention Center, said he cried when he listened to the governor emphasize attempts to put her down.
“Parang inaapi. Pag-inaapi, lalong lumalaban,” he said. (She looked like she was suffering. When someone is made to suffer, all the more one will fight back.)
“Her experience in Cebu would definitely be of help. We must address her as senator even now so we will be used to it,” the vice president said.
Garcia is in the Senate ticket of UNA. /Ador Vincent S. Mayol, Reporter