Latest Stories

Aquino: Evidence vs Gwen Garcia ‘so clear’

By ,

President Benigno Aquino on Wednesday said he is standing by his office’s decision to suspend Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, reiterating that it was done regardless of political affiliation and that Garcia’s violation of the law was clear.

“I am sorry, the evidence is so clear (against Garcia),” said Mr. Aquino.

The President also dismissed talk of politics playing a key role in the investigation for illegal gambling and plunder of Pangasinan Gov. Amado Espino.

Mr. Aquino said Espino has been tagged by a “credible” witness.

In both cases, the President said it was his duty to enforce the laws as the top executive of the land.

At the Department of Interior and Local Government, Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas said Garcia, who is holed up in her office at the Cebu provincial capitol, may stay there for as long as she wants since there are no plans to bodily remove her.

Roxas, whose office enforced the suspension order against Garcia, said the provincial government, under acting Gov. Agnes Magpale, is functioning anyway despite Garcia’s refusal to leave the governor’s office.

The President and Roxas made the statements as hundreds of supporters of Garcia were mobilized to gather at a prayer rally in the provincial capitol to support the suspended governor’s bid to remain in office.

The prayer rally organized by the Garcia camp was matched by Mass organized on the other hand by the camp of Magpale, the acting governor.

Those who attended the rally are mostly members of Garcia’s One Cebu Party. They wore red shirts and carried placards with the words “Stand Up Cebu.”

The suspended governor was present, also wearing a red shirt. The rest of the Garcia clan were there, too.

But frustration rained on the rally as the Sandiganbayan, the antigraft court, junked the suspended governor’s plea to lift a hold departure order against her for another case, this one involving the purchase of a lot by the provincial government that was mostly under water.

Talking to reporters in Camp Crame, Roxas said Garcia’s claim that there was a plan to drag her out of the capitol was fiction. “Let’s just let her make her own speculation,” said Roxas.

“Why do we have to bodily (move her out)? What else is there to do when the services are being provided by the provincial government?” he said.

“As long as the government services are not hampered, if some people want to stay in their offices, then that’s their right,” said Roxas.

In an ambush interview in Malacañang, Mr. Aquino said there was no politics involved in either Garcia’s or Espino’s case.

“We are blind as to party affiliation,” the President said.

“The reverse is to do nothing, and to be accused of not fulfilling our oath to faithfully execute all laws of the land,” he said, adding: “It just so happened that they are not our party mates.”

On Garcia’s case, the President said what the suspended governor did was obviously a violation of the law.

He said the investigation of Garcia started under the late Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo and “passed through a very long process before it was brought to the Office of the President.”

Garcia had been charged with and found guilty by the Office of the President of usurping the authority of the late Vice Gov. Gregorio Sanchez, whose budget for hiring personnel had been cut off by Garcia until his death.

After Sanchez’s death, the budget for personnel of the vice governor’s office was restored by Garcia.

“I think it has clearly been established that when the vice governor, who was not her ally, died she restored the budget,” said Mr. Aquino.

“So removing the budget was really intentional,” the President said.

The suspension order was signed on Dec. 17 by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, who belongs to a Palace faction said to be at odds with Roxas. With Carmel Loise Matus and Jhunnex Napallacan, Inquirer Visayas

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

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.

Tags: Cebu , governance , Gwendolyn Garcia , politcs

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
  1. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  2. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  3. Palace prepared to charge its allies
  4. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  5. Napoles turnaround alarms whistle-blowers
  6. What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  7. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  8. Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  9. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  10. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  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. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima


  • Camilla’s brother dies of NYC head injury
  • Nepal officials go to Everest to try to end crisis
  • Escudero ready to defend self should name appear in Napoles’ list
  • Obama calls for peaceful end to island dispute
  • Russia not abiding by agreement on Ukraine—Obama
  • Sports

  • Promoters Dela Hoya, Arum in talks for Pacquiao-Alvarez—report
  • Benzema guides Madrid to 1-0 win over Bayern
  • Suns’ Goran Dragic win NBA’s Most Improved Player award
  • Heat go up 2-0, hold off Bobcats 101-97
  • Ronaldo shakes off injury fears to play Bayern
  • Lifestyle

  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Homemade yogurt, bread blended with pizza, even ramen
  • Entertainment

  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • Business

  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Cost-recovery provisions for affected gencos urged
  • This time, BIR goes after florists
  • Technology

  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • PH-HK relations repaired, but families of victims still being courted
  • Filipinos in Middle East urged to get clearance before returning
  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Marketplace