Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma went to the Capitol at 8 o’clock last night and had an hour-long, closed-door meeting with suspended governor Gwendolyn Garcia and family members.
No statements were issued when Garcia and the archbishop stepped out of the governor’s office.
The visit of the prelate, who earlier made a public call for “calm” and “peace” on the day the suspension order was served, was viewed as much-needed intervention to break the impasse in the Capitol where Garcia has holed out since Wednesday.
Garcia earlier on Thursday said she would continue to do her duties as governor and would only leave her post “over my dead body”, adding that the police would have to bodily carry her out.
Last night she escorted Palma all the way outside the gates at the Capitol.
Policemen guarding the gates didn’t lift a finger to prevent her from returning to the governor’s office.
Palma kept a prudent silence.
“My only statement is that I have promised the governor that whatever that we talked about will be dealt with confidentiality. My request is that we will all pray for a peaceful resolution of all of this because it affects our province,” Palma told reporters before boarding his car.
“There are many issues that we have talked about that are part of what’s been happening …which (we) prayed to be resolved in a peaceful manner and that everything will be resolved for the good of all our people.”
Garcia’s private circle was in the office — her parents, Rep. Pablo Garcia and retired judge Esperanza Garcia, brother Nelson and sister- in-law Isabel Garcia.
On the day the suspension order was served by DILG Central Visayas Regional Director Ananias Villacorta on Wednesday, the Cebu archbishop called for “calm” and said he believes that “what is good and true will prevail” in the end.
“The human heart always has an allowance for calmness, for peace and for understanding. I think a situation like this is never solved by anger and reaction that we may regret,” Palma said at the time. /Dale G. Israel, Senior Reporter