Palace cites online survey showing support for Garcia suspension
MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang on Sunday, December 23, cited an informal survey conducted by Cebu Daily News (CDN) showing support for the government move to suspend Cebu Gov Gwendolyn Garcia.
“We certainly encourage Governor Garcia to follow the rule of law. We’ve been monitoring the situation in Cebu and, based on what we have heard, the suspension has popular support among the people of Cebu based on the local survey,” said presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda.
Garcia was suspended Wednesday, December 19, for 6 months for grave abuse of authority. This was in connection with the administrative charges filed against against her by the late Cebu Vice Governor Greg Sanchez Jr. in 2010. Sanchez had accused Garcia of diverting the province's budget to alleged anomalous contracts.
Refusing to step down, Garcia is waiting for the Court of Appeals to grant her petition for a temporary restraining order (TRO) on her suspension.
As of Sunday night, the survey showed that 61.27% of its respondents believe Garcia deserves the suspension, while 34.29% see it as a case of “power grabbing.”
CDN is an affiliate of the Philippine Daily Inquirer. It is the competitor of SunStar, which is owned by the Garcia family.
In its website, CDN asked its readers to weigh in on the political standoff.
CDN asked its readers to choose among 3 opinions:
- The governor deserves the suspension and she should respect the Palace order and avail instead of legal remedies like a TRO, (61.27%);
- It is a case of power grabbing by her political enemies and is clearly politically motivated due to next year’s elections, (34.29%);
- It is an election/political issue and thus should not be a cause of alarm so long as essential services to the public and sustainability of operations of the Capitol are ensured, (3.17%).
Readers may also choose to tick “others” and type in their opinions (1.27%).
Garcia slammed the suspension as a politically motivated move to guarantee the victory of the administration’s Liberal Party (LP) in the vote-rich province.
Garcia and her family belong to the opposition coalition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA). Now on her third and last term in the Capitol, Garcia is seeking a seat in the House of Representatives. Her brother Cebu Rep Pablo John Garcia is gearing to take her place in the Capitol.
LP, on the other hand, is fielding Hilario Davide Jr, the son and namesake of a former Supreme Court chief justice.
UNA stalwarts Vice President Jejomar Binay, former President Joseph Estrada, and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile visited Garcia in the Cebu Capitol Sunday to show their support. - Rappler.com