MANILA, Philippines - House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte on Thursday defended President Benigno Aquino and the Liberal Party (LP) from accusations that Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia is being harassed with the suspension order handed out against her.
Belmonte said the Palace merely enforced a decision after allowing justice to take its course.
He also said some people are just trying to inject politics by putting the blame on the LP.
"I think they are trying injecting politics into it. It's a simple administrative case and I don't think anybody is being harassed by the LP," Belmonte said.
The Palace has also denied allegations that Garcia's 6-month suspension is meant as political harassment.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda also told reporters that innuendoes from the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) “[fell] flat” on their faces because the administration has "so much credibility.”
In reference to Liberal Party (LP) president Mar Roxas, UNA said yesterday the people of Cebu know that “Mar-tial” law is already being implemented there due to the harassment received by their ally in the hands of Liberal Party stalwarts.
Lacierda claimed that Cebu is up and running. "The martial law scenario is only in the minds of those who mounted that propaganda, the business of governance continues in Cebu."
Asked to differentiate Garcia's suspension from the previous suspensions of local officials, he only said, "the big difference is the credibility of the Aquino administration."
Lacierda was reminded that President Aquino's mother, former President Cory Aquino, supported then Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay's defiance of his suspension by then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
He refuted observations that the administration has double standards in imposing disciplinary actions on local officials who are allied with the administration and those allied with the opposition.