Agnes, 8 others sued over Governor’s Office closure
THE chief of staff and security assistant of suspended Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia filed a complaint against Acting Gov. Agnes Magpale and eight other police and provincial government officials over the Jan. 30 closure of the Governor’s Office.
Elizabeth Francia and Amor Sarmiento asked the Office of the Ombudsman in the Visayas to investigate the officials for grave abuse of authority, gross misconduct, conduct unbecoming of a public official, oppression, grave coercion, and a violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
“While Governor Garcia has been meted a 6-month suspension by an adiministrative decision that is presently being questioned before a competent court, she is still the duly elected governor. A cursory reading of the Office of the President decision would show that the co-terminus employees under her are not covered by said suspension,” the complainants said.
Aside from Magpale, named respondents were Chief Supt. Marcelo Garbo, chief of police of Central Visayas; Senior Supt. Eduardo Carranza, Regional Public Safety Battalion commander; Leopoldo Cabanag, Police Inspector Alvin Enguito, lawyer Dara Acusar, Provincial Administrator Eduardo Habin. And Acting Provincial Engineer Hector Jamora.
Acusar, Magpale’s spokesperson, called the complaint a “squid tactic” of Garcia’s camp.
“The suspended governor has been filing cases left and right. We expect this to continue. While this is a waste of government funds and resources, we will answer them through the processes of law,” Acusar told reporters.
“This (complaint) is intended to muddle the real issue. It will not distract us,” she added.
In their complaint, Francia and Sarmiento narrated how law enforcers closed down the Governor’s Office last January 30.
“By ordering respondents, together with the police to close down the Office of the Governor and forcing employees therein to vacate the premises, Magpale exceeded the bounds of her authority as Acting Governor,” they said.
The complainants said they were not guilty of committing any crime to be treated improperly by the policemen who closed the Governor’s Office.
“Unless and until my fellow co-terminus employees and I have ben removed from office without proper observance of due process, we are entitled to a decent office space, specifically the Governor’s Office, to which we have been assigned. Otherwise, we are even placed in a lower category than informal settlers,” Francia said in the complaint.