Cebu capitol starting to normalize


09:18 PM December 26th, 2012

By: Carmel Loise Matus, December 26th, 2012 09:18 PM

CEBU CITY—Security at the capitol has scaled down six days after suspended Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia has continued to defy the Malacañang order that suspended her for six months 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 the frontage 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 Inquirer that it was “business as usual” for all the offices yesterday.

Despite the situation, he added that their operations remained normal and that they had entertained requests from clients yesterday.

Acting Gov. Agnes Magpale explained that they had to tighten the situation during the first few days of the standoff to protect the capitol facilities and offices, especially that these occurred during nonworking holidays and weekends where there was no work at the capitol.

She said that while the number had been reduced, the police had to stay at the capitol to maintain peace, especially that Garcia had not stepped down.

Garcia told reporters that she was happy that the capitol was no longer in a “garrison-like” state.

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