CEBU CITY, Philippines – “If anything happens to any of my children, I will hold you, General [Marcelo] Garbo, personally responsible for it,” said suspended Cebu Governor Gwendolyn “Gwen” Garcia on Wednesday, January 2.
Garcia made the statement following reports that her only son, Paulo Garcia-Codilla, is in danger.
Garcia said she received disturbing reports that her son is being followed by suspicious men. This was reportedly after Paulo had an altercation with a police official at the height of the standoff at the provincial capitol in December.
“I’m very much aware on how certain personnel of the PNP are tailing Paulo. In fact, Paulo is being followed by motorcycle-riding men not in uniform. We all know where they are coming from. I know who they are. In fact, they have been identified as the vigilantes of the past,” explained Garcia.
‘Not joining political battle’
Police Regional Office – 7 Director Marcelo Garbo Jr denied the allegations saying that he “does not want to enter into a political and a legal battle” with the Garcias.
“I am a plain and simple police officer and the Regional Director PRO-7. My job is to maintain peace and order,” Garbo said in an interview with radyo5 Cebu.
The police officer, however, said they are keeping an eye on Paulo after receiving reports that he has a private army he might use in the May midterm elections.
“I know that he (Paulo) is feeling the heat. If you are a good person, you cannot feel the heat,” Garbo added.
Paulo’s sister, lawyer Christina Garcia-Frasco, also reminded Garbo to respect her brother’s rights amid the “persecution” they are experiencing from the police.
“General Garbo, may I put you on notice that we know what you intend to do. We know that you intend to set us up, and we will be prepared. For these things that you are doing to us, I assure you that you will regret treating [us as if] we don’t have rights,” Frasco said.
Tension between the local police and the Garcias started when cops dismantled tents prepared by the Garcias for their supporters outside the governor’s office.
Last week, Paulo filed a robbery complaint against Garbo, Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II, Commanding Officer of the Regional Public Safety Battalion (RPSB) Supt. Leopoldo Cabanag and Police Inspector Alvino Enguito of RPSB.
Garcia has remained holed up at the provincial capitol for about two weeks now as she hopes for a temporary restraining order (TRO) from the Court of Appeals.
On Wednesday, the Court did not issue a TRO but set oral arguments on the case on January 10. – Rappler.com
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