It was to be expected but still the padlocking of the office of suspended Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia caused some minor surprise especially among non-believers who didn’t think that she would ever leave the Capitol grounds at all except for the recent Sinulog.
Then again even with brother and former Capitol security consultant Byron Garcia at her side, the personnel of the Provincial Administrator’s Office managed to close down the governor’s office with nary a pip except for the staffers who can only gnash their teeth in despair and resignation at the thought that like their boss, they are consigned in the freezer so to speak.
Then again, how does one justify the continued stay of Garcia’s supporters? While we understand that President Aquino, Interior and Local Governments Secretary Mar Roxas and Acting Gov. Agnes Magpale tolerated Garcia’s presence so long as it didn’t disrupt services to the public, her followers who treated some rooms and the old session hall as their personal quarters are another thing altogether.
Magpale and far more importantly the Cebuano taxpayers, whom Garcia forgot were her employers and landlords, have every right to be disgusted with the presence of the followers in a public building that, while accessible to everyone, ia a national and local edifice that should be valued and treated with utmost respect.
While we suspect that Garcia’s exit may be to continue playing up her role as a “martyr” persecuted to the hilt by her political enemies and the Palace, her continued stay amid a six-month suspension is hardly tenable.
With Garcia out of the Capitol, Magpale now has a sure hand at the Capitol and can focus more clearly on the business of governance even with some legal disruption from the Garcia camp.
It’s just as well that Garcia is out for some fresh air as her sorties would be an indicator of exactly how strong her influence is in the province. It’s not like she and her One Cebu party are destitute; with the resources at her father and brother’s disposal—both are congressmen with pork barrels—Garcia could still bankroll her campaigns albeit with her caveat that she was “displaced” as part of the Palace’s overarching strategy to retain their hold beyond 2016.
Cebuanos are for the most part thankful that this political drama is over and the feud confined more in the courts than in the streets or in the halls of the Capitol building where ugly, unnecessary violence can erupt anytime between supporters and the police.
The fact that most, if not all employees and officials are taking orders from Magpale should serve as a wake-up call to Garcia that her suspension has rendered her practically inutile. She should bring her case not only to the courts but also to the Cebuanos.