Opinion: Defiant Gwen

Posted on December 23, 2012

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Think Bits by Ricky Poca

 

Finally Cebu Gov. Gwen F. Garcia has been suspended from office for six months by the Office of the President after the Department of Interior and Local Government through the late Secretary Jesse Robredo found her guilty for grave abuse of authority stemming from a complaint filed in 2010 by the late Vice Governor Greg Sanchez Jr.

I remember that talk about a suspension circulated after Robredo died in a plane crash in August. I was told that part of the documents that the President ordered to be secured in Robredo’s office was the investigation findings in the case of Governor Gwen.

Then in the middle of the year, I heard reports circulating that the governor would be suspended for six months , not for the Balili land purchase case but the 2010 case filed by the late Vice Governor Sanchez. At the time, the talk was that the governor would be suspended until the end of her term. She could not return to her position because the suspension would run for that period.

When DILG Regional Director Ananias Villacorta served the suspension order in the Capitol, Garcia was not yet around. None of her secretaries accepted the order so the DILG director posted the order on the wall of the office. Then we went to Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale and administered her oath as acting governor.

Suspended Gov. Gwen Garcia insists that she is still the governor and chief executive of the Province of Cebu.

The governor has defied the order from Malacanang and remains cloistered in her office at the Capitol while Acting Gov. Agnes Magpale holds office at the Legislative Building.

The DILG has issued an order to the depository banks of the province to recognize only Acting Governot Agnes. At first, Capitol department heads refused to heed Magpale’s call for a meeting. After getting an ultimatum to show up or face charges of insubordination, they attended the meeting with the Acting Governor Agnes on Friday just before the annual Christmas party.

Slowly but surely things are starting to settle down in the Provincial Capitol with department heads recognizing Magpale as the new governor in charge.

Meanwhile, Garcia has filed a petition for the issuance of a temporary restraining order from the Court of Appeals in Manila. So far, the CA has not acted on the motion filed by the suspended governor. Gwen Garcia continues to defy what she calls an illegal order.

Provincial Board Member Julian Daan finally presided over the PB special session last Friday after initially hesitating. He hinted that he will take his oath of office as acting Vice Governor of the Province of Cebu.

So how will this controversy end?

I believe the two leaders of the Province of Cebu are very reasonable women. They will see the light and eventually decide to settle differences among themselves out of love for Cebu.

I see Acting Governor Agnes Magpale as head the Province of Cebu for the next six months while Garcia explores all legal remedies.

God save the people of the Province of Cebu and finally to one and all a Happy Christmas.

* * *

I was happy over the news that Citom chief Jack Jakosalem is recovering from a debilitating disease and is out of the Intensive Care Unit in a private hospital.

To Jack, Sharon and their sons, this should be truly a happy Christmas because Daddy Jack just received the best gift from God, a miracle.

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