Cebu prelate visits suspended Gov Garcia
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) President Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma paid suspended Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia a visit Friday, December 22.
Palma and Gwen had a one-hour closed door meeting inside the contested governor’s office where Gwen has stayed for the past 4 days. The meeting started at 8:30 pm.
Both denied disclosing what was discussed in the meeting. They only said all questions will be answered in due time.
The prelate also met with Gwen’s father, Cebu 2nd District Congressman Pablo “Pabling” Garcia.
After the meeting, Gwen personally guided Palma outside the Cebu Capitol grounds where police had gathered supposedly to avoid any untoward incidents. She immediately returned to her office and rested for the night.
In an ambush interview, Palma told reporters he would only issue an official statement concerning Garcia’s suspension on December 26, Wednesday, during a post-Christmas celebration with members of the media.
The archbishop briefly appealed to all Cebuanos to pray for a peaceful resolution of the conflict in the capitol.
Upon orders of Cebu acting Governor Agnes Magpale, employees of Sugbo TV (the Cebu Province cable TV Channel) and Sugbo News (official gazette) were barred from entering their office yesterday afternoon.
The office is currently padlocked and guarded by several police personnel.
They were advised to return on Wednesday, December 26.
Sugbo TV’s Internet uplink broadcast was also locked, preventing live feeds from the governor’s office. Internet connection has also been cut.
Pabling Garcia, in a separate interview, expressed his disappointment over the closure of Sugbo TV and the cutting off of the Internet connection to his daughter’s office.
This prompted the congressman to phone Police Regional Office 7 Director Marcelo Garbo Jr at around 11 pm.
“The capitol now looks like a garrison,” Pabling told reporters.
Garcia, who is a lawyer, told Garbo that if the PNP has plans of forcibly evicting his daughter from the capitol, they should have a court order or face a kidnapping case.
He likewise questioned the authority of Magpale whose powers are only limited.
Gwen’s younger brother, Cebu 3rd District Congressman Pablo “PJ” Garcia, said they opted to reopen the old Sugbo TV office to continue informing the public about what is “really” happening inside the capitol.
Both PJ and Pabling personally appealed for the reopening of Sugbo TV station, but to no avail.
The aunt of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III, Margarita “Tingting” Cojuanco, also visited Gwen in her office on Thursday night.
“I came to see Gov Gwen, because she is a friend and to support her in her fight for fairness and justice,” Cojuangco told reporters. She is the former governor of Tarlac.
Cojuangco visited Gwen with the blessing of the United Nationalist Alliance chairman, Vice President Jejomar Binay. – Rappler.com