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MANILA, Philippines - Gwendolyn “Gwen” Garcia apparently didn’t see it coming – Malacañang is citing a two-year-old administrative complaint, filed against her by a now deceased vice governor, to suspend her until the end of her term.
It’s easy to say the move is tainted with politics. Garcia is not the with ruling Liberal Party of the President. She is fielding her congressman brother to succeed her, against an LP bet, Hilario “Junjun” Davide III, whom she defeated in 2010.
Greg Sanchez, the vice governor who filed the complaint against her for hiring 19 consultants without authority from the provincial board, was part of the LP. The vice governor who’s been sworn in to take her place, Agnes Magpale, is with the LP too.
And Cebu, of course, is the province with the most number of registered voters, 2.34 million, and any party that has set its eyes on the 2016 presidential elections would naturally want control of Cebu in 2013.
Refusing to step down, Garcia issued a statement that appealed to the strong regionalistic sentiments of her province: “Our political adversaries…[are] now asking Manila, and Secretary Mar Roxas, to undo and overturn the will of more than a million Cebuanos by virtue of a patently illegal order. "
But is this just a case of the so-called Imperial Manila meddling with the business of Cebu? Or does Gwen Garcia deserve to be scrutinized for how she has handled funds and managed the provincial affairs in the last 8 or so years?
Does the Palace, acting on the recommendation of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, only want to remove Garcia from office in time for the elections? Or is this a sincere resolve to run after so-called corrupt local oficials?
Does the Palace realize that, with its decision to suspend the governor, it is shaking the country’s second capital and second richest province?
Let’s talk about Cebu in a Social Media Conversation tonight, December 20, from 6:00-7:30 pm. Join us on Twitter using the hashtag #PHvote, or interact with us on Facebook. You can also opt to send your video reactions to email@example.com. -Rappler.com
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