Capitol peace


Why defy Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale who assumed the reins of the Capitol following the Dec. 19 suspension of Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia?

That’s the question answered by the Capitol’s department heads who attended a meeting called by Magpale to announce a  P30,000 Christmas bonus for employees before their Christmas party yesterday.

Among the department heads was Provincial Treasurer Roy Salubre, who said he had to report to Magpale based on an order by the Department of Finance. “Sorry kang Ma’m Gwen. We are just following orders,” Salubre told reporters.

We’re sure Garcia would understand, though she had wanted to be the one to break the happy news of a  P30,000 Christmas bonus for staff.

Magpale just beat her to the punch.

It’s the department heads,   not the rank and file employees, who suffered the anxious trial of  loyalty checks by both  Magpale and Garcia camps.

It’s no surprise they ended up reporting  to Magpale.  This isn’t a popularity contest, just the reality of government hierarchy.

Life will go one, services will continue and operations in the Cebu provincial government will eventually swing back to full normalcy with a change of leadership, sudden though it came.

This is as it should be when the rule of law is followed.Whatever legal protests surround the six-month suspension of Garcia should be settled in court, and not in the corridors of the Provincial Capitol.

The loyalty of provincial government employees belongs to the institution and duly mandated officials. With the visit last night of Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, even though a status quo remains in the occupied wing of the governor’s office, we hope his  message of peace and public good  sinks in.

It will be a lonelier Capitol building  in the next few days after employees,  flush with their bonuses, prepare to take off for vacation leaves and prepare for a New Year.

Even barangay health workers from remote towns will turn to matters of family, faith and recreation in the next few days, rather than political lobby duties in defense of Garcia.

A stubborn  cry to perform duties of governorship already suspended by the Office of President is dragging into  its fourth day.

The  fragile peace in the Capitol compound needs  attention. With Magpale’s order to observe “super maximum tolerance”, violence is the last thing anyone with a stake in this Capitol cliffhanger looks for  and no one has a bigger stake in this than the public.

Since the aggrieved Garcia has filed a petition in the Court of Appeals, we hope  the conflict can be resolved there so that everyone can go home, get some rest,  and marshall their energies to deal with a future that bows to the rule of law  with confidence that justice will eventually come.

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  • D_BystandeR

    The controversy now going on in the Cebu Provincial Capitol is a simple kind of “misunderstanding” that is not supposed to take place had it not been for the “excessive and unreasonable greed” of power. A comparison can be taken when the same thing happened during the time of Ferdinand E. Marcos who had been entrenched and exposed to “unlimited power” in Malacanang especially when he declared martial law throughout the land and served as President for more than two decades. It required the US government to send a helicopter to “flush” him out of Malacanang because the people were rising up in arms against him for his misrule and he was brought to Hawaii in exile until he died there.  In Cebu, after the “pomp and glory” for three consecutive terms as the “powerful” Cebu Governor where she was “pampered” by GMA during the “little girl’s” discredited regime, Gwen Garcia misconstrued her stay in office as something  that nobody higher in rank than her can have the power to suspend her if she is found guilty of some “official infractions.” But here’s one thing I appreciate of the newly installed Cebu Governor Agnes Magpale whose cordial upbringing illustrates her impressive take into her sudden assumption to the highest position in the provincial government. When asked if she is going to file charges against her predecessor if she discovers something “fishy?” She answered in all humility, “Let’s not talk about it this Christmas season.” And she was heard to say that if there is an order for her to vacate her “position” coming from higher authorities she is going “to peacefully abide with it, no problem.” If all “heads” of government  offices have the same magnanimity as Governor Magpale, this present controversy could not have turned out to become as big as this.

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