Osmeña’s hand seen in Gwen’s graft casesBy Doris C. Bongcac, Marian Z. Codilla
Cebu Daily News
CEBU City Mayor Michael Rama expressed dismay over the graft charges filed against Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia.
“I felt sad. What bad timing,”said Rama, a guest in her State of the Province Address.
Rama said he saw the hand of his political nemesis Cebu City south district Rep. Tomas Osmeña, who days earlier announced that an adverse ruling for Garcia in the Balili case was about to be released.
“Where was he (Osmeña) getting his information? Was he interfering? Was he lobbying for the filing of the graft charges against the governor? As a public official, we should maintain proper conduct,” Rama said.
Garcia’s younger brother 3rd district Rep. Pablo John Garcia, said this development won’t affect his own gubernatorial bid next year.
“I do not see how it can affect me in any way. If at all, people will see. I think it will affect me in a positive way because if they will vote for my opponent, it will be a vote for Tomas Osmeña. I don’t know if the people in the province of Cebu want Tomas Osmeña as their governor,” he said.
“Look at these machinations. Who is running the show? If they vote for my opponent, (Hilario Davide Jr.) it will be governor Tomas Osmeña by remote control,” he continued.
“How can we not suspect that there is a conspiracy? Before the filing of the case somebody is already claiming that there is already an order against the governor. Our lawyers have not even received a resolution of the case. A few days before the order came out somebody who belongs to the LP and has always been a critic of the governor announced it already,” Rep. Garcia said.
“If he (Osmeña) is not behind it, then he is definitely a big supporter of this cause. Because he seems to know what the resolution may be and he says it will come out soon. He knows the intimate workings at the Ombudmsan better than the Ombudsman for the Visayas. I don’t know how it will reflect on their office. In politics, sometimes there is no such thing as coincidence,” he said.
Osmeña denied any hand in the case. He said he just predicted the filing of the graft charges based on available records of the case in the Ombudsman in the Visayas.
“It wouldn’t come as a surprise if a graft charge is filed against her (Garcia) because that was the recommendation of the Ombudsman in a 2010 Final Evaluation Report. What comes as a surprise is why it took two years to implement the Ombudsman’s recommendation,” he said.
Osmeña said that as part of normal procedure, a preventive suspension would be imposed.
Looking at the brighter side, Osmena said a suspension will work to Garcia’s advantage because it would give her more time to campaign for her senatorial bid.