Gadon: Dismissal of House Deputy Speaker Gwen Garcia an act of ‘retaliation’
Lorenzo “Larry‘ Gadon, the lawyer behind the impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, speculated that the dismissal of House Deputy Speaker Gwendolyn Garcia was Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales’ act of retaliation for his “zeal” in the proceedings against Sereno.
“The zeal and ardent passion of incisive questioning on the witnesses and resource persons in the Sereno impeachment has led the Ombudsman to come out with an order of dismissal of Rep. Gwen Garcia,” Gadon said in a text message to reporters on Monday.
Gadon said Garcia’s questioning has “shed light on many issues uncovering the culpable violations of Sereno.”
“And the Ombudsman, as a lap dog of Noynoy [former President Benigno Aquino III], is quick to act in retaliation,” Gadon said.
The Office of the Ombudsman ordered Garcia’s dismissal on Monday over her allegedly anomalous P98.9 million lot purchase for a housing project in Cebu when she was then the governor. The property, however, turned out to be largely under water.
Morales ordered suspended the now Cebu third district representative for grave misconduct when her office found that Garcia had no authority from the Sanguniang Panlalawigan (SP) to enter into contracts with ABF Construction.
In June 2008, Garcia purchased the controversial Balili property, a 249,246 square meter lot in Tinaan, Naga, Cebu, for P98,926,800 in public funds for a housing project.
Local authorities, however, later discovered that 196,696 square meters of the property were underwater and part of a mangrove area.
But Gadon said the charges against Garcia “does not allege any issue of graft which enriches herself nor allegations to the effect that she benefitted and gained personally from the land filling contract.”
“Rep. Gwen Garcia is being dismissed on a flimsy ground that she signed the contract without the authority being given by the Sanggunian Panlalawigan. But who else should sign a contract in behalf of the province of Cebu except the highest provincial official? This is quite presumed already even without express authority as commonly practiced,” he said.
And since the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) that approved the project were cleared of the charges, Gadon stressed that there was “no anomaly even a hint of a single peso corruption” on the deal.
“The Ombudsman is quick and fast to punish political adversaries of the Noynoy administration but soft on issues even involving murdered lives of SAF 44 soldiers for which a slap on the wrist of an obscure violation of usurpation of authority was charged on Noynoy,” he added.
Morales is also facing an impeachment complaint. /atm
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