Gwen allies vow bigger rally

Posted on January 8, 2013

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Allies and supporters of suspended Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia promised a bigger crowd in a prayer rally tomorrow at the Capitol grounds.

The rally is set on the eve of the Jan. 10 oral arguments in the Court of Appeals in Manila, where Garcia is seeking a temporary restraining order.

Rep. Benhur Salimbangon of Cebu’s 4th district said they will pray for “an honest decision” fom the court.

At least 24 mayors of 52 Cebu towns and city mayors, five vice mayors, five Provincial Board (PB) members and three congressmen were present in yesterday’s meeting of One Cebu party allies at the governor’s office, where Garcia has been staying since Dec. 19, 2012.

An earlier pro-Garcia rally last Dec. 30, a Sunday afternoon, drew at least 1,000 people in front of the Capitol, said police.

Garcia went out to address the crowd of placard-bearing supporters, repeating her vow not to leave the Capitol until she gets “justice”.

Salimbangon yesterday said tomorrow’s rally was a way to “support our effort to provide the justices an idea on what is going on in the province.”

He said the prayer rally will be peaceful and not cause traffic congestion.

“We will ask the police not to set up checkpoints… Let the people be given their rights to issue their sentiments. Let’s provide protection to our people,” he said.

Salimbangon said they’ve limited participation to barangay officials. He said they can’t stop the public from joining it.

Daanbantayan Mayor Ma. Luisa Loot said their right to assemble should not be hindered.

“I hope the police won’t block those from the province in supporting the governor,” she said.

Governor Garcia said there will be a Mass and a march from Fuente Osmeña to the Capitol grounds. She said they police should not bar their “right to peaceful assembly.”

“Don’t underestimate the Cebuanos. We are a special people,” she said. Correspondent Carmel Loise Matus

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