Control of vote-rich Cebu is the main reason for the suspension of Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia for usurpation of authority, according to the political coalition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), headed by Vice President Jejomar Binay.
Rep. Toby Tiangco, UNA secretary general, said Garcia’s suspension is part of a plot by the ruling Liberal Party (LP) to rein in Cebu in what he said was a glaring example of abuse of power.
“Nothing can justify abuse of power no matter what the LP and its apologists say,” said Tiangco.
Still holed up inside her office at the Cebu provincial capitol, Garcia has asked the Court of Appeals to issue a temporary restraining order to stop her suspension.
“Since a case has already been filed before the Court of Appeals, the administration party should allow the courts to decide,” Tiangco said.
UNA leaders Binay, former President Joseph Estrada and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile also visited Garcia in a show of solidarity.
Tiangco said it was not surprising that one of the first acts of Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale, now the acting governor, is to close down a provincial government-owned media outlet, Sugbo, because what the LP did in Cebu is tantamount to martial law.
Tiangco also scoffed at statements of the Liberal Party spokesperson, Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone, saying the party had nothing to do with Garcia’s suspension.
“Harassment is harassment,” said Tiangco.
“Those who are now invoking the rule of law and the righteous path should first examine their tainted political and moral backgrounds,” he said.
Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, LP vice chair, said the suspension of Garcia was just a simple administrative case but some people are putting political color into it.
Belmonte said the service of the six-month suspension order was part of the “course of justice.”
“I don’t think anybody is being harassed by the LP,” the speaker said.