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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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