Gwen won’t give up governor’s seat

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VICE Gov. Agnes Magpale takes her oath as acting governor of Cebu province. CARMEL LOUISE MATUS/INQUIRER VISAYAS

CEBU CITY—Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia refused to heed the six-month suspension order issued by the Office of the President after she was found guilty of  grave abuse of authority, calling it “power grab.”

She told a news conference at the capitol building on Wednesday that she issued an executive order announcing that she remains to be governor and that all provincial government employees should follow her.

She said she issued the order “just to clear the confusion.” “I am the chief executive of this provincial government and our department heads shall follow orders from the duly elected and duly installed governor with a mandate from the Cebuano people,” said the defiant Garcia.

“This is plain and simple power grab. What they are doing is clearly an abuse of power,” she said.

Garcia said suspending her for six months was tantamount to removing her from office.

“That it is imposed five months before an election, in which the ruling party is making a bid for this office, to ensure that a party member and ruling party candidate [and  sister of a Cabinet secretary] sits at the helm of the province during the election period, drowns out the feeble legal arguments upon which the entire case rests,” she said.

She was referring to Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale, the sister of Secretary Rene Almendras, who belongs to President Aquino’s inner circle. Magpale is running for vice governor under the Liberal Party with former Councilor Hilario Davide III as governor.

But the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in Central Visayas said it will recognize only Magpale as acting Cebu governor.

Ananias Villacorta, DILG director for Central Visayas, said he has issued notices to government offices to recognize Magpale as acting governor.

The suspension is a result of a complaint filed by the late Vice Gov. Greg Sanchez in 2010 against Garcia, accusing Garcia of cutting the vice governor’s budget by 61 percent and stripping the vice governor of authority to appoint staffers and consultants.

In her defense, Garcia said that under the Local Government Code, she had authority to appoint employees and allot funds.

Sanchez died of cancer on April 29, 2010, while the case was still pending.

Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas issued a memorandum directing Garcia to comply with the suspension order.

At least 200 supporters of Garcia assembled at the capitol grounds. Tents were put up and busloads of supporters were brought in, carrying placards with the words “We love Cebu. Junk Suspension.”

Garcia was not around when the suspension order was served. Her chief of staff, Elizabeth Francia, refused to receive the order, which was posted at the door of the governor’s office.

Vice Governor Magpale took her oath as acting governor at another building in the capitol compound.

Julian Daan, provincial board member, took an oath as acting vice governor.

In a news conference, the Garcia said that as far as she was concerned, she had not received a copy of her suspension order and would continue exercising the powers of the governor.

She said it puzzled her why the case survived the death of the complainant and the mandated 120-day period within which all administrative cases shall be terminated.

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  • virgo57

    The Garcia’s are thinking that they owned Cebu a sort of privileged they enjoy when previous corrupt president Pandak was in power.Yet, the Garcia’s are daydreaming that their patron who is in hospital arrest is still at the helm kaya itong gubernador na Ito meron pang hang over buti na Lang at umuorong from her senatorial slate under Nognog Binay knowing that even in Cebu she is not winnable. Abuse of power has taken its toll & hoping the paid hakot group will disperse the soonest and this prima donna should not dramatize the issue kasi biistado kana.Alis dyan.

  • kapayapaan_1900

    She said she issued the order “just to clear the confusion.” “I am the chief executive of this provincial government and our department heads shall follow orders from the duly elected and duly installed governor with a mandate from the Cebuano people,” said the defiant Garcia.

    ….an air of arrogance typical of a political dynast….”Power tends to corrupt…absolute power corrupts absolutely”.  You usurped the power of your vice-governor that no less than the late Jesse Robredo, one of the rarest incorruptible public servant we ever had in recent time, recommended a suspension sentence.  Of course you are the elected governor of your province but the current president is also a duly elected public official whose authority exceeds yours.

  • hustlergalore

    At least 200 supporters of Garcia assembled at the capitol grounds. Tents were put up and busloads of supporters were brought in, carrying placards with the words “We love Cebu. Junk Suspension.”

    – cebu is not suspended, garcia is. LOL

  • Hey_Dudes

    This is our description being Filipino.   We do not know how to obey.  How many more times do we have to watch similar incidents before we admit we Filipinos truly are not disciplined people?

  • Luthmar

    Garcia can scream that she is still the Executive Head till she turns blue.  The fact is
    there is already a temporary replacement and a sworn in vice governor.  DILG Sec. M. Roxas
    should issue an order that businesses and any other govt. transactions should only come from
    the vice governors office.  Any transactions coming from Garcia’s office would not be honoured.

  • AlexanderAmproz

    Trapos are usually poorly educated, rough, without any “savoir vivre” and a big Dignity vacuum fill up with disgraceful arrogance, shameless and shameful.

    As they have a Feudal style, a Feudal punishment should fit to them.

    Pilipino’s still have some Cross knowledges, why not one day, for the moment instead nails,
    glue will do, if dressed, it’s still more elegant than the Ampatuan chain saw

    One day they have to learn how to do a dismissal or Harakiri for the goods of the country

    For the moment, what they know at the best is cowardice alike Angie Reyes killing himself to avoid to face his dirty responsibilities, a weak treacherous corrupt Macho, the minimum would have been to respond honestly every questions before.
    But he was in hurry to protect his Children’s to have to give back their stollen asset,
    the only Trapos respected “moral” values.

    It’s a Country of extra judicial Killing’s and Disgraceful Trapos

  • skeptical_me

    I think the sitting administration started it all…They defied a lawful order when then former PGMA was allowed by the high court to leave the country to seek medical attention and stopped by the DoJ arguing that the high court’s decision is not “immediately executory” and should wait for the result of their pending motion in a lower court.  But now, despite the mandated 120-day period within which all administrative cases shall be terminated the DILG “immediately execute” the order of the accordingly “disciplining office” as put by the Honorable Mr. Palengke and swore-in the next legal successor.  If you are arguing then that decisions issued by the courts of law are not immediately executory, then why swore-in? why not give time and consideration to the suspended governor since, yourselves argued the same then?

    • marcopolotorres

      Agree. When an order is favorable to the Admin, it is immediately executory, if it is against them, we’ll have to wait for a court’s decision on a filed motion for reconsideration…WTF

      • nardong_tutpik

        Isn’t that what Garcia got from the previous Arroyo admin?  Pana panahon lang.  Ngayon alis na since LP is consolidating it’s power.

  • pikloy

    Isang BAROS at isang YAMA, isang ASBAG na politiko. Isang pagsubok o dikaya ipinakikita nila na sila and paginoon at nakakataas sa BATAS.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NOMBBSLZPGCELF545RBCZMOWLA dante

    This suspension has long been over due to the Governor’s  grave abuse of authority.  On top of that, Gwen should also  answer graft charges on the purchase of Balili property as well as the over-priced CICC,  a multi-billion building that looks more like an NFA warehouse.  If Gwen Garcia considers it a ‘political harassment’ – well, look whos talking?  For 9 years under the Arroyo administration, she enjoyed all the political favor as Cebu’s powerful and ‘untouchable’ mega-governor,  who believes what she says and do is the ‘law’.   She decides on multi-million budget allocation without going through the normal process ‘unchecked’!.  She enrich herself from all these favors.  Now,  if she consider the suspension as political harassment, then so be it.   Your time is up Mrs Governor, now the the time for reckoning. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NOMBBSLZPGCELF545RBCZMOWLA dante

    WELL SAID:  kapayapaan_1900 1 comment collapsed Collapse Expand
    She said she issued the order “just to clear the confusion.” “I am the chief executive of this provincial government and our department heads shall follow orders from the duly elected and duly installed governor with a mandate from the Cebuano people,” said the defiant Garcia.
    ….an air of arrogance typical of a political dynast….”Power tends to corrupt…absolute power corrupts absolutely”.  You usurped the power of your vice-governor that no less than the late Jesse Robredo, one of the rarest incorruptible public servant we ever had in recent time, recommended a suspension sentence.  Of course you are the elected governor of your province but the current president is also a duly elected public official whose authority exceeds yours. show more

  • Betz Chui

    Kapit tuko….gusto exempted sya sa batas….its over! Your patron is now out and is in the hospital, the protector in the SC is also out; your admin was tainted with corruption scandals, abuse, etc. etc. You have been there more than a decade…its time to go……mahiya ka sa mga Cebuano!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NOMBBSLZPGCELF545RBCZMOWLA dante

    “Gwen’s refusal to let go of the Capitol is consistent with what earned her her suspension in the first place: her usurpation and abuse of power as governor. She truly thinks she is the queen of the province when she really is just the queen of darkness. She cannot accept that the light is beginning to shine,”

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/NOMBBSLZPGCELF545RBCZMOWLA dante

    “Power tends to corrupt…absolute power corrupts absolutely”. 

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/MQ7NTD64TQOKIRM2WOR4INHM2Q Sig

    What d f is going on here Mar? You are now acting like NAZI lost soldier for this!!! This act is grave abuse of authority, conduct unbecoming as public official!!! You let this powee hungry lady swore in before you with out the proper approval of the highest court!!!what is this mar? Whar the heck are you doing? And rhe big question of all is why now Mar roxas Sanches????!!!

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/ZNY7QZZDDBH4EBGB5ZS4IOUATE mave

      If you question mar question also the late DILG sec Robredo he is the one recommended for suspension…

  • joboni96

    mareng gwen
    wala na boss mo
    zte aroyo

    hintayin mo na lang
    pag si vinay na presidente

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_UWISP2YXGDQ7K2SIX2GI37B2EI Darwin

    AROGANTE!

  • cantonese

    Is this the start of the ending of the world according to Mayan calendar or Cebu’s civil war? Wait and see for the result and be a good spectator. Telenovela of Philippine politics is exciting, from the start till the end. SUS KA INDO, Kay saya saya nila kahit hindi pa tapos ang hirap ng mga binagyo ni Pablo.

  • sakinlang

    Kapit, Gwen, kapit! Ipagtanggol mo ang karapatan mong maging gahaman sa kapangyarihan!

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/ZIWSONMGQYN6VXR5WROLCTL3KM dokie

    it is a lawful order so she should face another case for defying it, make it a criminal case para sama na sila ni gloria :-)

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