MANILA, Philippines – Intentional or not, everything becomes about the elections when it’s less than 5 months away. Not one to be left out, Liberal Party’s (LP) Cebu gubernatorial candidate Hilario “Junjun” Davide III on Sunday night, December 23, joined the word war on the political standoff in the provincial capitol.
In the battle of perceptions, Davide echoed the LP line slamming suspended Cebu Gov Gwendolyn Garcia and her backers in the opposition coalition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) for frustrating the legal process.
“Nothing can be clearer: the UNA brand of politics is diametrically opposed to the agenda of change that every Filipino, foremost of them President Aquino, is trying to espouse,” Davide said in a statement released on December 23.
Garcia refused to step down despite a 6-month suspension order from Malacañang. Based on a 2010 complaint, she was found guilty of abusing authority by bypassing her late Vice Governor Gregorio Sanchez Jr and the provincial council in hiring contractual employees.
For Garcia and her allies in UNA, the suspension order is a political ploy orchestrated by LP to guarantee the victory of its candidates in the vote-rich province.
Gwendolyn has camped inside the capitol. She is waiting for the Court of Appeals to issue a restraining order on her suspension.
UNA stalwarts Vice-President Jejomar Binay, former President Joseph Estrada, and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile themselves flew to Cebu on Sunday to show support for Garcia.
Davide said everything will be settled in next year’s elections. “They (Garcia political clan) may barricade themselves up in the governors office for now, but the people will render the final judgment through the ballot,” he said.
Davide lost to Garcia in the 2010 elections. He is running for the same post in 2013 against Garcia’s brother Cebu Rep Pablo John Garcia. On her third and last term in the capitol, Gwendolyn is running for a seat in the House of Representatives.
Acting Cebu Gov Agnes Magpale is Davide’s running mate. She is also in a fighting mood.
“The acts of the suspended Governor Gwendolyn Garcia unquestionably show a blatant disrespect and mockery of our legal processes and the violation of her sworn oath that she will abide by our laws and uphold the Constitution,” said Magpale in a separate statement.
“The Acting Governor will not stand idle. We will not be diverted by this senseless uproar. Our drive to weed out corruption will even be more intensified. Gwendolyn Garcia and her spending spree while she clings to power will be examined under the sharp scrutiny of this administration,” Magpale added. – Rappler.com