Embattled Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia spent Christmas at the provincial capitol Tuesday in protest over President Aquino's order to suspend her for 60 days for abuse of authority.
Relatives, friends and supporters accompanied Garcia at the capitol to celebrate Christmas away from their own families. The event was a double celebration for the Garcia family as the governor's daughter celebrated her 31st birthday.
At one point, Garcia became emotional at the sight of all the people who showed up at the Capitol.
In her official Twitter account, Garcia said spending Christmas at the Capitol with family, friends and the media is "the most unique Christmas celebration in my entire life."
"Merry Christmas! The rule of law is all about justice, fairness and the responsible and studious respect of the proper process," she said.
She also noted: "It's not about the humility to step down. It is all about the courage to stand firm for what is right."
Garcia was earlier 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.
The governor, however, said Aquino's decision to suspend her was untimely and politically motivated especially with the upcoming 2013 polls.
Garcia is running for Congress to represent Cebu's 3rd district, a position held by her brother, Pablo John. The latter is running for governor against Liberal Party gubernatorial bet Hilario Davide III. Report by Joworski Alipon, ABS-CBN News