Governor rejects hiring of late vice gov’s daughter as Capitol consultantCebu Daily News
Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia is seeing “deja vu” with the decision of Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale to hire the daughter of a former political opponent as consultant.
“As far as I recall, it’s the governor who decides that. And as far as I know, I’m the governor,” said Garcia in a press conference.
She recalled that this situation had happened before during the term of the late Vice Gov. Greg Sanchez Jr., whose daughter Gigi Sanchez-Zaballero is now being taken in by Magpale as a P1-a-year consultant to continue her father’s projects.
In 2010, Sanchez hired four consultants for his programs but after his political falling out with the governor, their contracts were not renewed, and Sanchez filed a complaint for usurpation of authority against Governor Garcia, a case still pending with the Office of the President.
Upon hearing the governor’s adverse reaction , Vice Gov. Magpale yesterday said she would go ahead and hire Zaballero as her “personal consultant at no cost to the province.”
Magpale told reporters she was planning to submit “out of courtesy” the appointment papers of Zaballero to the governor’s office in addition to the contracts of her seven other consultants.
“I was going to submit to her but if that’s the case mao na lang gyud na ang mahitabo. But I can call on her (Zaballero),” she said.
Magpale, who said she still has seven pending contracts of her consultants for approval at the governor’s office, said she hopes the entry of Zaballero won’t led to another “deja vu” episode which is the slashing of the budget of the office of the vice governor, which had happened to the late Sanchez.
“My functions here are within bounds. I’m not doing anything beyond the scope of my duties,” said Magpale, who is running for reelection in 2013 under the Liberal Party against the still-to-be declared candidate of Garcia’s One Cebu party.
Zaballero, a chemical engineer, who manages her late father’s probiotics company, told Cebu Daily News there were projects of her late father she wanted to monitor and continue.
“I am also hoping that I would at least have an avenue to push for Dad’s projects such as the Transaxial Highway and fishport.”
Governor Garcia, who has mothballed the Transaxial Highway, yesterday invoked her authority to appoint consultants of the Capitol.
She cited the Local Government Code provisions in Chapter 3 Sec. 465 which spells out the role of the governor to “represent the province in all its business transactions and sign in its behalf all bonds, contracts, and obligations, and such other documents upon authority of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan or pursuant to law or ordinance”.
The governor said Magpale may hire a consultant in a “personal capacity” but not as provincial consultant.
“Once you carry the name of the provincial government, once we are talking about a provincial consultant, that contract, whether P1 a year or P1 million a year that is immaterial, the fact here is only the governor can assign,” she added.
“Those who are confused can open page 226 of the Local Government Code, read it,” she said.
“If she (Sanchez) presents herself as a consultant for monitoring and then goes on field, she could be liable for a violation and possible action… They are not in the proper authority.”
The other year, the late vice governor Sanchez hired four consultants who served as his experts in various fields. They were Edgar Godinez (trade and investment promotions), Edgar Sibonga (infrastructure), lawyer Oliveros Kintanar (legal concerns) and Sophela Ignacio (community interest and development), who received P23,000 a month. Their contracts were not renewed.