Right after filing a complaint against Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, gubernatorial candidate Hilario “Junjun” Davide III is going after his rival’s father and younger brother.
Davide wants Representatives. Pablo Garcia and Pablo John Garcia of Cebu’s 2nd and 3rd districts respectively to disclose their bank accounts “for the sake of transparency.”
“I’m not accusing them of anything as yet. I’m just telling them that we disclose our bank accounts. I’m anticipating that they will not do it),” Davide told reporters yesterday.
Davide, Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale and Provincial Board (PB) Member Arleigh Sitoy each filed separate complaints against Garcia in relation to the recent backfilling of limestone on the 24.7 hectare Capitol-owned Balili property last Friday.
“I think I’m just fed up. I think so are most of the Cebuanos. We could not stomach anymore what they (Garcias) are doing,” he said in a press conference at Manrose Plaza in Cebu City yesterday.
The three questioned the backfilling of the Balili property in barangay Tina-an, Naga City, saying the property is still the subject of a graft case involving the governor and seven others before the Sandiganbayan.
They also sought the governor’s preventive suspension in relation to the case.
Davide is running for governor next year under the Liberal Party (LP) banner against Pablo John.
Davide said the release of P27 million for the restoration works at the Balili property would cause “tremendous great damage and prejudice” to the province since the PB has not approved any budget for this purpose.
He also alleged that no bidding was held for the backfilling activity. Governor Garcia earlier said the backfilling was part of Capitol’s plans to develop the Balili property as a secured landfill to hold coal ash waste.
She said the province applied with the Philippine Economic Zone Authority to classify the Balili property as an economic zone and there was no need for authorization from the Provincial Board to restore the property.
The governor vowed to present a copy of the contract for the backfilling during a Powerpoint presentation on the Balili property development this Tuesday. But Davide said he won’t attend the governor’s presentation.
He said politics has nothing to do with the filing of the complaint against the governor.
Davide reiterated his challenge for him and the Garcias to open their bank accounts for transparency.
Davide said the backfilling of the submerged portions of the Balili property was done in bad faith.
He said the conversion on the Balili property violated the Phillipine Fisheries Code of 1998 which prohibits illegal conversion of mangrove areas into non-mangrove areas.
“I challenge the governor to reveal the actual financial condition of the province. What are the expenditures of the provincial government? The public deserves to know where their money went in the spirit of transparency,” Davide said. /Ador Vincent Mayol and Joy Cherry Quito