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‘No stopping Gwen’s return to the Capitol’

/ 07:47 AM June 16, 2013

Will outgoing Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia return to the Capitol when her suspension ends on June 19?

Her Manila-based lawyer Tranquil Salvador III said there is no legal impediment standing in her way unless another another suspension order is issued against her.

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“Unless a new suspension order is issued, I see no reason why she (Garcia) should not assume her office for the remaining days of her term,” Salvador said in a text message sent to Cebu Daily News.

But when asked whether or not Garcia categorically mentioned to him about returning to the Capitol, Salvador said “Not yet. Let’s wait for her decision.”

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The Office of the Special Prosecutors (OSP) asked the Sandiganbayan to issue a preventive suspension order against Garcia pending trial of her two counts of graft and technical malversation cases.

The charges stemmed over the Capitol’s questionable purchase of the Balili beach property in Naga City, Cebu.

Salvador said another suspension order on Garcia is already an “overkill.”

Acting Gov. Agnes Magpale said they intend to break the seals and reopen the Governor’s Office tomorrow.

“I sent a letter to suspended Gov. Garcia for her to send a representative when we re-open the Governor’s office,” she said.

Magpale said she will also send a representative along with Provincial General Services Office Acting chief Eva Encabo and the governor’s representative during the re-opening of the Governor’s Office.

Last Friday, Magpale’s letter was brought to Garcia’s home but the guard purportedly refused to receive it. Magpale said they decided to send the letter through the post office.

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She said they need to re-open the Governor’s Office which was padlocked last Jan. 30. Magpale said the key of the Governor’s Office is with Garcia.

“We have not entered that room since it closed. We have to clean the room. I was told that there were leftover foods inside the Governor’s Office. Remember, that office was used as quarters (by Garcia),” Magpale said.

Magpale said she will consult with her lawyers if it will be possible and legal to re-open the Governor’s Office even without the presence of Garcia’s representative.

Garcia is serving a six-month suspension for an administrative charge of grave abuse of discretion in a decision of the Office of the President regarding her dealings with the late Vice Gov. Gregorio Sanchez Jr.

She was found guilty for usurping the appointment powers of Sanchez, a penalty which she considered as “illegal” and a “power grab” by the Liberal Party (LP-Cebu). Reporter Ador Vincent Mayol

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TAGS: Agnes Magpale, Gwendolyn Garcia, suspension, Tranquil Salvador III
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