MANILA -- Acting Cebu Governor Agnes Magpale on Wednesday said she could no longer tolerate the presence of suspended Governor Gwendolyn Garcia at the capitol.
Magpale ordered the Philippine National Police (PNP) to padlock Garcia's office at around 2 p.m. while the suspended governor was away.
Garcia left the provincial capitol Tuesday night and reportedly spent the night in her house. She then attended an inauguration of a training center in Oslob town on Wednesday morning.
"Actually I've been tolerating her presence there for the past one month and 11 days. Eh sobra na po ang ginagawa niya," Magpale told ANC.
"Lalabas siya, mangangampanya. Tapos babalik siya dito. Ginawa na niyang parang hotel ang capitol building," she added.
Magpale said even Garcia's supporters stayed inside the capitol.
"'Yun ngang adjacent offices that used to be the old session hall in-occupy ng kanyang mga supporters, dun natutulog, naglalaba na sila dun," she said.
Garcia had been holed up in her office since the Palace ordered her suspension December last year.
The suspension order stemmed from charges that Garcia deliberately withheld funds for the office of then Cebu vice governor.
'Tama na, abuso na ito'
Magpale said that as the acting governor of Cebu, she has the right to order the padlocking of Garcia's office.
Garcia's daughter and lawyer Christina Frasco, however, insisted padlocking the office of the suspended governor is illegal.
Frasco also insisted Garcia is still the incumbent governor of the province, and Magpale is merely in an acting capacity and therefore has no right to issue such order.
Magpale said she had already exercised maximum tolerance toward Garcia despite the fact that a suspended government official should not be entitled to an office and a staff.
She also noted that the presence of Garcia in the capitol just increases the Cebu provincial government's expenses.
"Tama na ho talaga ito. One month and 11 days, tama na, abuso na ito."
"Nag-cut kami ng [maintenance and other operating expenses] by 20 percent in all offices and yet we're spending so much sa kuryente niya, 24 hours, aircon and everything," she said.