While they remain unaffected, staffers of suspended Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia said the padlocking of three meeting rooms at the Capitol ordered by Acting Gov. Agnes Magpale was a “show of tyranny.”
Garcia’s chief of staff, Elizabeth Francia, said they were merely concerned about Garcia’s personal belongings inside the three conference rooms at the Capitol’s main building.
The rooms were padlocked by personnel from the Office of the Provincial Administrator on orders of Magpale, who voiced disgust over the use of the rooms by Garcia’s supporters.
The New Conference Room, Formal Room, and the Capitol Social Hall were occupied by Garcia’s supporters, her security group, and loyal staff.
Garcia remains holed up at her office despite a six-month suspension order.
Christina Codilla-Frasco, Garcia’s daughter and spokesperson, said Magpale’s office should also be padlocked.
“After all, we all know that her illegal usurpation of the Governor’s position is nothing more than a political exercise aimed at disabling Governor Gwen and enabling Liberal Party’s hold in Cebu,” Frasco said.
When asked if her mother would take action on the padlocking, Frasco replied that “they will continue to resist, because it is the right thing to do. We will study all our legal options against this reign of tyranny.”
Francia said she called up Provincial Administrator assistant, Joey Pascolado to ask that they be allowed to check on the furniture especially at the Formal and the New Conference rooms.
Francia said that chairs and tables were excess furniture from Garcia’s house in Cebu City.
She said Garcia wanted to put this furniture to good use at the Capitol instead of stocking it in her house.
“We will just check with the Provincial Administrator and the General Services Office and conduct an inventory which furniture are ours and which are those that belonged to the Capitol,” she said.
Magpale said she was irate when she personally saw Garcia supporters do their laundry and sleep at the old session hall.
“It’s probably not justified for these people to sleep and live there,” she said in a radio interview.
Magpale said she ordered personnel to clean up the room before padlocking them.
Those wishing to use the rooms will have to secure her permission first, Magpale said.
Anad party-list Rep. Jun Alcover, whose Guardians volunteers provide security to Garcia, said it is up to Magpale to file charges against them. “Her reason to close the social hall is quite juvenile,” he said.
For his part Garcia’s younger brother, Rep. Pablo John Garcia of Cebu’s 3rd district, chided Magpale for closing the rooms.
“She apparently plans to measure her achievements by the number of offices she padlocks,” he told Cebu Daily News. With Correspondents Edison delos Angeles and Renan Alangilan