MANILA, Philippines – The regional director of the Interior and Local Government department in Cebu, Manny Villacorta, believes that there will be no political instability in the province following the suspension of Governor Gwendolyn Garcia.
Villacorta said despite Garcia’s defiance of the suspension order, the department heads have already recognized Vice Governor Agnes Magpale as the acting governor.
“Sa ngayon parang wala pa kaming nakikitang political instability kasi majority of the board members naman have rallied behind the acting provincial governor,” Villacorta told ANC’s “Top Story” on Friday.
He said the provincial government’s department heads have already reported to Magpale, who took oath as acting governor following the issuance of Garcia’s suspension order on Wednesday.
“It is slowly gong back to normal. Lahat ng mga department heads ngayon ay nagpakita na at nag-attend na sa mga conferences na pinatawag ni acting governor Agnes Magpale,” he said.
Garcia has asked the Court of Appeals to restrain Malacañang from enforcing her 6-month suspension, but Villacorta said the local government will focus instead on Magpale’s tasks as acting governor.
“Maghintay na lang kami doon sa legal remedies na ginawa ng kampo ng suspended Governor Garcia. Pero sa ngayon, inaasikaso na lang namin na maasikaso ni acting Governor Magpale ‘yung transactions ngayon sa kapitolyo,” said Villacorta.
Villacorta also called on city and municipal mayors to support Magpale in her new task.
“Kung hindi man mangyari ‘yun, manatili sana ‘yung kapayapaan sa kani-kanilang local government units. Anyway, 6 months lang naman ang suspension. Maabutan man ng eleksyon, ‘yun talaga ang batas at sundan nalang sana nila,” he said.
Garcia, meanwhile, vowed to remain in her post and exhaust all legal remedies to protect the mandate given to her by the people of Cebu.
She had been staying at the provincial capitol for two days now to prevent Magpale from taking office.
Her suspension stemmed from a complaint filed against her by the late Cebu Vice Governor Gregorio Sanchez Jr. in 2010.
Garcia and her allies in the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) alleged that the order was a power grabbing tactic by the administration in preparation for next year’s elections.
Malacañang has denied the allegation.