In her speech, she recalled her first term as governor in 2004 and thanked all those who supported her up to her third and last three-year term.
She urged the local officials to support Pablo John, who is running for governor in 2013.
“Let’s continue to support the one who understands us all, who knows what Cebu is and has a clear vision. He may even add to what our administration achieved so far. And he won’t simply criticize,” the governor said.
Garcia faces a fresh graft complaint filed by gubernatorial candidate Hilario Davide III, Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale and Provincial Board (PB) Member Arleigh Sitoy over earth-moving work in the controversial Balili property.
The province’s purchase of the land in 2008 for P98.9 million is the subject of a Sandiganbayan case, but the Capitol’s subsequent project of backfilling the underwater portions with limestone triggered a new complaint by her election opponents.
During yesterday’s assembly, Anad partylist Rep. Pastor Alcover chided Davide, Magpale and Sitoy for filing the new complaint.
“They’re pressing the issue but the people forgot that without the governor, there’s no peace in Cebu,” he said.
In a brief speech, Pablo John said he would continue the programs established by his sister such as the Suroy -Suroy rural tourism program, Pasigarbo fiesta festival and the e-Gwen local governnance program.
Allies of the One Cebu party of the Garcias, like Rep. Benhur Salimbangon of Cebu’s 4th district were also on hand to signify their support to the tandem of Pablo John and former Danao City vice mayor Boboy Durano.
An awarding of outstanding barangay officials was held and the activity was capped off with a raffle draw. Each local official went home with Christmas gift packs of assorted goods.
Governor Garcia said contrary to Davide’s statements, she didn’t claim that the assistance she gave came from her.
“He should not put words in my mouth because ever since I am governor I didn’t say that,” she said. /Correspondent Carmel Loise Matus