With two days to go to a new year, Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes and the head of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry called for a speedy, peaceful end to the impasse at the Capitol, where suspended Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia has been holding on to her office since Dec. 19 or 11 days.
“We hope for a peaceful resolution to the crisis the soonest time possible to avoid any pernicious effect to the Cebuano community. Questions of legitimacy must be properly ventilated through proper and legal measures,” said Cortes.
This was echoed by Prudencio Gesta, CCCI president.
“We are hoping for an early resolution on the matter so that we can move ahead without reservations,” said Gesta.
Philip Tan, president of the Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry, agreed.
“The businessmen hope for a peaceful resolution the soonest possible time. We will abide by the rule of law, with the best interest of the Cebuanos considered,” said Tan.
Garcia, who says her suspension is “illegal” and politically motivated, has applied for a temporary restraining order with the Court of Appeals in Manila but no order has been issued to date. She spent Christmas indoors with family members, and is likely to spend the New Year at the Capitol as well in line with her promise to stay put unless she’s removed “over my dead body”.
While the impasse can affect daily operations in the Capitol, Gesta said he doesn’t see it having a big impact on the business sector.
“We believe the ongoing controversy at the Capitol will not grossly affect the business sector as a whole since we consider the Cebu market as mature and stable,” said Gesta.
Mayor Cortes of Mandaue, a member of the Liberal Party, has enjoyed smooth relations with Governor Garcia.
He recalled how he faced a preventive suspension in 2010 based on a complaint filed by opposition members of the City Council but it was immediately resolved.
During the conflict, “I saw how public services in the city suffered” he said.
“The only way (to solve this problem) is for the people concerned to respect the law”.
He said Mandaue City has been affected by the Capitol standoff as some projects promised by the provincial government to Mandaue barangays were not carried out.
Barangays were promised financial aid and construction materials for road repair, but Cortes said he remains hopeful the projects will roll out before the election ban.
He said the fact that Capitol department heads are now respecting the orders of Acting Governor Agnes Magpale was a good sign of progress. /Jucell Marie P. Cuyos and Aileen Garcia Yap, Reporters