Quantcast
Latest Stories
‘UNITE BEHIND ME’

Gwen calls on supporters in Capitol rally; Agnes asks people: ‘Don’t be used’


About a thousand people joined a rally in front of the Capitol yesterday to show support for suspended Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia on the 12th day of a standoff with authorities.

Supporters carried placards that read: “Padayon Gwen”, “LP stop harassment” and “Stop Martial Law”.

Standing on a wooden table in front of the flagpole, Garcia urged the crowd to unite behind her cause as she repeated her pledge not to leave the Capitol even if authorities have to drag her out (“bali-balion ang iyang bukog”).

It was her first time to come out and address a crowd since she holed up in the Governor Office on Dec. 18, defying a six-month suspension ordered by the Office of the President as a penalty for “grave abuse of authority” in an administrative case filed by the late vice governor Gregorio Sanchez Jr.

The crowd, which included residents from Moalboal town, Alegria, Naga City and Carcar City, walked to the Capitol from Fuente Osmena, where a 2 p.m. Mass was held at the park.

At first, a thin crowd of urban poor residents from Cebu City gathered for Mass presided by Fr. Dennis Boltron, with participants saying it was a Rizal Day activity until the priest announced in his homily that he hoped the impasse in the Capitol would be resolved.

Then more supporters appeared, and a larger group marched to the Capitol with placards, including one with a caricature of of Acting Governor Agnes Magpale grabbing the island of Cebu with the words “Gusto Ko Mopuli.” (I want to take over)

Gwen vowed to face adversity “for the sake of Cebuanos” as she invoked the blessing of the Sto. Niño and St. Pedro Calungsod.

“Magkahi-usa kita mga Sugbo-anon sa lalaiwagan og sa dakbayan. Magkahiusa kita ning atong tinguha nga ang kamatuoran ug hustisya ibalik dinhis sa Sugbo,” she said.

(Cebuanos of the province and city, let us unite to bring back truth and justice.)

PEACEFUL

Chief Supt. Marcelo Garbo, regional police director, said the crowd reached 1,000 at its peak but remained peaceful until it ended after a short program and the governor’s speech.

He was observing the activity from a distance, and said that aside from some traffic congestion that had two lanes closed to vehicles by the Cebu City Traffic Operations Management, the rally passed without incident.

Asked if the rally had a permit, Garbo told Cebu Daily News he was shown a permit issued by the office of Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama.

At the Capitol’s front steps, Garcia emphasized that the presence of the crowd showed how “angry” Cebuanos are over her suspension.

DON’T BE USED

Acting Gov. Magpale, in radio dyAB interview, said the rally showed that “the right to peaceful assembly is alive and well in the Province of Cebu.”

But Magpale appealed to the people “don’t let yourself be used” and said Garcia was “agitating” Cebuanos to take part in a protest against a lawful order by the Office of the President where “the main issue against her is abuse of power.”

“ This is not a proxy war between Vice President Binay and Secretary Mar Roxas as some quarters may want to make it appear — this is President Aquino’s fight against corruption,” she said.

Cordova Mayor Adelino Sitoy, a former law school dean and Liberal Party ally, said the governor was “inciting to sedition” in her speech by urging the people to go againt a legitimate order of the President.

In a separate speech, Rep. Pablo John Garcia repeatedly referred to Magpale as “overacting” and said the timing of the suspension, covering the last six months of Gwen’s term, stacked the coming 2013 election in Magpale’s favor.

Their parents, Rep. Pablo Garcia and retired judge Esperanza Garcia watched the rally from the balcony with their son Dumanjug Mayor Nelson Garcia.

Gwen, in her speech, called the suspension, part of ‘dirty politics’.

“Kay ang buot nilang mopuli kanako, kauban nila sa partidong gamhanan, ang Liberal Party. Igsoon pa gayud ug usa ka secretary to the cabinet,” she said referring to Magpale. (They want to replace me with the administration Liberal Party, a cabinet secretary’s sister.)

Alegria Mayor Amelita Guisadio, Moalboal Mayor Inocentes Cabaron and the governor’s broth Barili Bice Mayor Marlon Garcia were there.

Gwen first watched the crowd from a hallway window on the second floor. Past 4 p.m., she appeared at the Capitol balcony and waved to a crowd that roared.

She then walked down to the front of the quadrangle near the flagpole and got a mircrophone to speak.

Speeches were also made by her daughter Christina Frasco and brother Rep. Pablo John Garcia, who eiterated that the suspension order is illegal.

Gwen said she was fighting for “justice”, the mandate of the Cebuanos who voted for herself, and not for herself.

“Kining akong pagbarog, kining akong pagpabilin sa katungdanan wala ko kini buhata alang kanako lamang. Kay kung ako na lang kasayon ang akong gihuna-huna, kung ang ako na lang kalipay ang akong gihuna-huna, ilabi na karon panahon sa Pasko, dugay nako niuli kay aron moadto ko sa akong panimalay aron isaulog ang pasko kauban sa akong pamilya,” she said.

(If I was just thinking of myself and my happiness, I would have gone home a long time ago to celebrate Christmas with my family.)

Garcia slammed Magpale for closing Sugbo TV and Sugbo News, and blamed her for police checkpoints on roads that prevented other supporters from coming to the Capitol. Magpale later said she was not aware of any police checkpoints set up on the roads. She issued a statement after the rally:

“We are saddened that groups with political interests are using this as a means to further their interests in continued defiance of a lawful order from a duly constitited authority. It is mob rule that these groups are trying to espouse which sadly does not reflect the sentiments of majority of the peace-loving and law-abiding populace of the Province of Cebu.

“We find it disturbing that in this season of peace and harmony, followers of suspended governor Gwen Garcia are using her UNA allies and remnants of the Arroyo regime to try to agitate Cebuanos to take part in a politically motivated protest against a lawful order by the office of the president. This is not a proxy war between VP Binay and Sec. Mar Roxas as some quarters may want to make it appear – this is President Aquino’s fight against corruption,” she said.

“But we are heartened that suspended Garcia’s attempt to create trouble had largely been ignored by the politically mature citizens of one of the country’s most progressive provinces. Cebuanos, regardless of their political leanings, prefer a legal and peaceful solution to the problems created by Garcia and her UNA allies. In the spirit of the season, we continue to exercise maximum tolerance and pray for their enlightenment,” she added. /Carmel Loise Matus, Jucell Marie Cuyos and Marian Codilla with Joy Cherry Quito and Christine Emily Pantaleon


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Other Stories:


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. US teacher fired over comment on black president
  2. Filipinos, Dane re-enact crucifixion of Christ
  3. Magnitude-7.5 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
  4. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  5. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  6. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  7. Massive infra spending set
  8. Easter crucifixions draw huge crowds
  9. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  10. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  7. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  8. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  9. Massive infra spending set
  10. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  5. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  6. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  7. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  8. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
Advertisement

News

  • Mixed feelings for Gabriel Garcia Marquez in hometown
  • Korea ferry captain arrested, divers spot bodies
  • Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’–report
  • Pakistan library named ‘bin Laden,’ as memory fades
  • US teacher fired over comment on black president
  • Sports

  • Duke’s Rodney Hood joining Jabari Parker in NBA draft
  • Phelps entered in 3 events at comeback meet
  • Boston prepares for huge wave of marathon visitors
  • Motivated LeBron James preps for postseason
  • Nadal ousted by Ferrer in Monte Carlo quarters
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • Myx TV premieres Asian American ‘docu-series’
  • A nutty finale for ‘Scandal,’ TV’s craziest show
  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Business

  • US commerce secretary spells out economic facet of ‘pivot to Asia’
  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • OFW from UAE tests negative for MERS-Cov–health chief
  • Multicultural flock marks Good Friday in San Francisco
  • Las Vegas ‘Pinoy Pride’ fest hails Filipino heritage
  • Marking Jesus’ journey on Good Friday
  • Filipina accomplice arrested for fake bills in Malaysia
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement