CEBU CITY, Philippines — Security at the capitol has scaled down six days after suspended Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia started defying Malacañang’s order for her to step down for grave abuse of authority.
Employees and clients can now go in and out of the capitol compound, unlike the first few days of the standoff. Policemen also no longer ask visitors for their identification cards or require them to log in their names before entering the compound.
The number of policemen assigned at the capitol dropped from more than 200 during the first day of the standoff to less than 60 policemen.
Inspector Genesis Aniversario, team leader of the Regional Public Safety Battalion (RPSB), said these policemen from the RPSB and the Cebu Provincial Police Office were assigned at the different capitol offices and buildings, including the treasurer’s office, radio room and the legislative building.
A handful of policemen stayed at the large tent that was put up in front of the capitol. But the police removed the police trucks that were parked in front of the capitol and near the entrance of the governor’s office.
But only one entrance of the building was opened for public use: This was the door located at the back of the building near the Provincial Assessor’s Office.
Provincial Social Welfare and Development Assistant Head Wilson Ramos told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that it was “business as usual” for all the offices on Wednesday, and they were able to respond to requests from the public.
Acting Gov. Agnes Magpale explained that they had to tighten security during the first few days of the standoff to protect the capitol facilities and offices, especially since these occurred during non-working holidays and weekends where there was no work at the capitol.
She said policemen have been asked to stay at the capitol to maintain peace, especially since Garcia has not stepped down.
Garcia told reporters that she was happy that the capitol was no longer in a “garrison-like” state.