MANILA, Philippines – The suspension of Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia took effect Wednesday morning with the service of the order at the governor's office, Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas said.
Roxas said Garcia was not in the office when the order was served by the DILG's Regional Director, but the respondent's physical presence was not required.
The suspension fueled criticisms against the Aquino administration.
The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) questioned the timing of the suspension and said the politics could be behind the Palace move. UNA said Garcia belongs to the opposition and not with the administration's Liberal Party.
Roxas explained that politics should not be invoked in Gov. Garvia's suspension since the investigation started since November 2010.
"Hindi ko iniiwasan ang pulitika. Pulitiko yung involved kaya normal na isipan nila ito ng pulitika. Pero ito ay matagal nang kaso,” he said.
The DILG chief said Garcia could have faced preventive suspension as far back as 2010, and that could also be viewed as politics. But he said government opted to wait for the investigation and go through the process, with the President as the disciplining authority.
"Kung sasabihin nating lahat ay pulitika eh di sa kalye mag-overspeeding ka, tapos pag hinuli ka sabihin mo pinupulitika ka,” he said.