MANILA, Philippines - A spokesperson for the Liberal Party (LP) lambasted the leaders of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) for allegedly indulging the actions of suspended Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia.
Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone said the presence of Vice President Jejomar Binay, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and former President Joseph Estrada at the Cebu Provincial Capitol on Sunday further fueled the already difficult situation there.
Garcia has been holed up in there for days now to protest the suspension issued by the Department of Interior and Local Government. She intends to spend Christmas there until Court of Appeals -- where she lodged a petition questioning the decision -- hears her case.
Estrada had questioned the timing of the suspension, especially since it came just days before Christmas, even calling it “un-Christian.”
Garcia, a member of UNA, was found guilty of grave abuse of authority in connection with administrative charges filed against her by the late Cebu Vice Governor Greg Sanchez Jr. in 2010. Sanchez had accused Garcia of allegedly diverting the province's budget for different shady contracts.
Evardone said the UNA leaders should have just advised Garcia to follow the rule of law.
He said the UNA officials’ actions are contrary to what they have earlier proclaimed, noting that UNA claimed to criticize constructively the administration of President Benigno Aquino III and not to merely oppose.
He also insisted there is nothing political in the move to suspend Garcia.
Atty. Hilario Davide, an LP candidate, will be running for governor next year. He will be pitted against Garcia’s brother, Pablo. – with reports from Jon Ibañez