Suspended Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia met yesterday with her lead counsel from Manila to prepare for oral arguments to be made before the Court of Appeals on Jan. 10.
She met behind closed doors for more than two hours with lawyer Tranquil G.S. Salvador III of the Romulo Mabanta Buenaventura Sayoc & Delos Angeles (Romulo) law firm.
Salvador told reporters later they have a strong case and are confident that the CA will grant their petition for a temporary restraining order on Garcia’s six-month suspension.
“Well yes, we’re ready. We’ll be prepared for the oral argument. Siguro kung mababasa ninyo ang petition, maganda iyong petition,” he said.
(If you read the petition, it’s very good.)
Salvador – best remembered as the spokesman of the defense panel during last year’s impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona – wouldn’t say what was discussed with his client.
He arrived at the Capitol yesterday morning and was immediately ushered into the Governor’s Office where Garcia has been holed up for 18 days.
The meeting was also attended by her father Deputy Speaker Pablo Garcia, his lawyer-son Congressman Pablo John Garcia and Gwen’s daughter Christina Codilla Frasco.
Frasco, a senior associate at the Romulo law firm, will be part of her mother’s legal team.
The appellate court’s 12th division is composed of Associate Justices Vicente Veloso, Eduardo Peralta Jr., and Aurora Jane Lantion.
Garcia said she trusts her lawyers whom she said have gone “beyond 100 percent” to prepare for Thursday’s hearing in Manila.
“I trust my lawyers, and I trust the law firm itself. It has an impeccable reputation. If you talk about preparation, I think they go even beyond. They walk the extra mile. But then of course, it is all a matter that is subject to the appreciation of the court and so I think it’s also important that we can also lift our eyes up to God and pray,” she said.
“We know very well that this case has gained national attention and I think most Filipinos are looking at this case right now so we pray that justice will prevail,” Garcia said.