Cebu’s Gwen Garcia vs Tarlac’s Noynoy Aquino: starting 2013 with another circus!

As Malacañang would have us believe, Gwendolyn Garcia is a very bad person — bad enough to be summarily suspended from her her position as duly-elected Governor of Cebu for a period of six months. That is enough time for the 2013 elections to come to pass with Cebu under the watch of now “acting governor” Agnes Magpale who erstwhile served as Vice Governor and was then appointed by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to replace Garcia during her suspension. Magpale, not surprisingly, is a member of the Liberal Party which Philippine President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III is a member of.

So there is some method to this latest case of BS Aquino madness. Now effectively overlord of the Philippines’ Supreme Court and House of Representatives, Aquino it seems is setting his sights on the Senate as his next conquest. And with Cebu happening to be the next biggest cesspool of voters in the country, it only makes sense that a loyal vassal of the king be in charge there during that crucial “democratic” exercise to make sure things go according to plan.

gwendolyn_garciaWhat is Garcia supposedly accused of? According to Aquino’s henchmen, it is for “grave abuse of authority” she allegedly perpetrated as governor. The basis of that claim is an administrative complaint filed by the late vice governor Greg Sanchez Jr back in 2010 alleging that Garcia violated the Local Government Code by “usurping” the authority of the office of the vice governor over the hiring of contractual and casual personnel.

Garcia’s position on that matter is that in her role as Governor, she was acting well within the scope of authority her office confers. The following excerpt from a brief on the suspension order (published on Trigger.ph) cites a specific aspect of that position, something to do with the hiring of consultants for the Legislative Research Codification Project (LRCP) the brouhaha around which forms part of the late Sanchez’s complaint…

Governor Garcia’s appointment of employees of the Office of the Vice Governor, including the LRCP personnel, does not, in any way, constitute usurpation of Vice Governor Sanchez’s authority because the latter possesses no such appointing authority of appointment over said LRCP personnel.

The mere assignment to the Office of the Vice Governor or a work detail to the LRCP or the attendance at a Legislative Codification-related seminar does not vest the Vice Governor with the authority of appointment. If anything, the assignment or work detail to the Office of the Vice Governor is simply a consequence of the power of appointment over these employees, which, by law and established practice, is to be exercised exclusively by the Governor.

Either way, the order issued by Malacañang to suspend Garcia reportedly rests on thin ice. According to Garcia…

(1) It is “an old case”.

(2) The original complainant is deceased.

(3) The action was based on “the account of a witness who was not even present during the alleged incidents”.

Furthermore, if the account published by Trigger.ph of the manner with which the suspension order against Garcia was effected by Malacañang is accurate, there is enough reason to argue that no such suspension is in effect today and therefore, any order to install Cebu Vice Governor Agnes Magpale as “acting Governor” is illegal.

Governor Garcia was not at her office at the time of service of the Suspension Order. Thus, Director Villacorta posted a photocopy of the Order at the hallway of the Office of the Governor. Director Villacorta subsequently proceeded to administer the oath of office of Vice Governor Agnes Magpale as “acting Governor” of Cebu.

Because the suspension order handed out by the DILG was allegedly not served in person, “[the] service of the Suspension Order is invalid and has no legal effect”…

According to the Supreme Court in the case of Reyes v. Comelec (G.R. No. 120905, March 7, 1996), a suspension order shall only take effect upon personal service on the public official.

Even the posting of the photocopied Suspension Order at Governor Garcia’s office is invalid. In Far Eastern University v. FEU-NRMF Employees (G.R. No. 168362, October 12, 2006), the Supreme Court ruled that mere posting of an order is not valid service.

Since the Suspension Order was not personally served upon Governor Garcia, it has no legal effect. Clearly, Governor Gwen Garcia is NOT suspended.

Too bad Malacañang habitually bungles the way it carries out its witchhunts (for instance, failing to follow the proper procedure when serving suspension orders or using grossly flawed evidence when impeaching Supreme Court chief justices, among others). In this recent case, a spectacular legal battle between Aquino and Garcia over the office of the Governor of Cebu would’ve made for interesting (and lucrative) media diarrhoea. Instead, Garcia seems to have a strong case for remaining holed up in her office.

Being a politician herself, it is unlikely that Garcia is the standout exception to the rule in Philippine politics that she makes herself out to be. According to a Sun Star Cebu opinion piece, Garcia had for some time been using her position “to promote the candidacy for governor of her brother Pablo John who had always been at her side in recent months” and had been “spending provincial funds in their sorties and bribing municipal officials, barangay leaders, and barangay health workers all over the province of Cebu.” And as for the whole people poweresque dance number Cebuanos are supposedly mounting to save her hide from BS Aquino’s jackbooted henchmen, a plot is also thickening underneath the over-my-dead-body rhetoric that has become all but a cliché in Philippine ocho-ocho politics…

Hundreds of barangay health workers from some municipalities were bused in to the Capitol grounds to show their support to the beleaguered governor. Many health workers when interviewed by the media complained that they joined the trip because they were misled into believing that they would receive bonuses from the governor’s office.

Until now the governor is holed up in her office in the Capitol, defying the suspension order of Malacañang. Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale, who has been sworn in as acting governor, is now recognized by the DILG, as well as by all the department heads in the Provincial Government, as the duly-constituted acting chief executive of the Province.

Apparently, Garcia is desperately trying to replicate the events in Makati City in 2006 when Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo unsuccessfully attempted to implement the suspension order on then Makati mayor Jejomar Binay.

Consistent with the nature of the Philippine National “Debate” this is really all just a conflict fueled by voters’ personal loyalties and partisanism among the so-called “thought leaders” and chattering classes of the land. Step back from all that and regard the circus from the brilliant perspective of a disaffected outsider and all you will see is a celebrity President on a mission to secure his feudal clan’s family jewels crossing swords with a dynasty matriarch in the nation’s second-best province who failed to keep her nose clean and to whom the irony of her call for “people power” (a Pinoy tradition popularised by her adversary) escapes.

They’re all the same folks. Poltical parties? Which ones are involved here? One is called, get this, the “United Nationalist Alliance” (UNA). What exactly does being a “nationalist” mean in a nation that cannot even define what being “Filipino” means? The other is the “Liberal Party” — as if being “liberal” actually means something within the pointed head of the average Filipino voter.

One thing’s for sure. If things go well for us who observe and comment on moronisms like these, the Gwen Garcia debacle will be to 2013 what the Renato Corona trial was to 2012. It will be another good show with the same sorry cast of characters.

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40 Comments on “Cebu’s Gwen Garcia vs Tarlac’s Noynoy Aquino: starting 2013 with another circus!”

  1. “One thing’s for sure. If things go well for us who observe and comment on moron-isms like these, the Gwen Garcia debacle will be to 2013 what the Renato Corona trial was to 2012. It will be another good show with the same sorry cast of characters.”

    Meanwhile we have a de facto one-man rule being trumpeted by an adoring mainstream media along with a cheering mass of yellow thralls. And while I despise him and his family for what they did (are still doing!), I will admit that the late Ferdinand Marcos at least had some idea of what he wanted to achieve for the Philippines. The cowardly BS Aquino’s only ambition seems to be to bleed the country dry until his successor takes over.

    1. “The cowardly BS Aquino’s only ambition seems to be to bleed the country dry until his successor takes over.”- There’s also the achievement points/leaderboards in Xbox Live

      1. Seems to run in the family. While the country was falling apart around her, Cory Aquino’s preoccupation was mahjong. So too does being onion-skinned. Under her administration, even the most tongue-in-cheek jibe by commentators like the the late Louie Beltran was treated as libel. At worst, dissenting opinion was branded as subversive and treasonous.

        1. Johnny,

          Admiral Roebuck: With all due respect, M, I think you don’t have the balls for this job.
          M: Perhaps. But the advantage is, I don’t have to think with them all the time.

          From Tomorrow Never Dies

        2. Like Marcos, like Cory?

          O_O

          As much as I don’t deny Marcos’ cronies suppressing dissenting good and critical opinions, Cory needs a lot of working to take up all that tough work.

    1. A bit of a correction. There ARE political parties. Doesn’t take much to get one registered. A handful of people and a catchy name and any fool with a line of bullshit can become a party list representative. What we LACK is any semblance of an IDEOLOGY. Filipinos cannot tell you what they believe in. As a result, one political party and/or candidate looks just like any other. What we’re left with are PERSONALITIES who resort to singing and dancing for the popular vote.

        1. That would again assume that the members of said factions have an ideology or belief system that they adhere to. The fact that politics in the Philippines is driven by rabid self interest precludes loyalty to any one group or person. As a result political affiliations can shift from one election to the next.

          If there is A political party in the Philippines its this one: the Party of ONE — ME, MYSELF, ALONE.

      1. HA HA HA!!! Now that is some funny stuff right there!!! “Dance(POW!POW),I said DANCE,mu fugga(more POW POW!)”.It is too bad these clowns/thieves that run the Filippines are not made to DANCE in front of the people who,for their own frustrations,are firing .38 caliber pistol rounds at their feet while screaming “DANCE,u kno?
        Yes,Benigno is right:they,the politicians,are all the same.
        However,I am SURPRISED that Benigno would refer to the Cebu provinces’ voting public as a ‘cespool’ though,really I am surprised.That the web-site administratoer of GRP would insult so many people just like that,click!

        1. What’s with the hand wringing? Was there anything inaccurate in describing the political and/or voting process in Cebu as corrupt — i.e. a “cesspool?”

        2. Maybe I mis-interpret the statement.But it certainly appears to refer to Cebu province/cities’ voters as a “cesspool”. Now if that refers to the voting public,it is a huge insult,NO? If,however,it is a swipe at the politicians corrupt handling of the actual voting process/corrupt polling place practices it can certainly be construed as accurate. It is now appropriate,for me anyway, to expect a rigged election. One way or another the powers that control the country will exact the results they want out of the elections.By hook or by CROOK as the old saying goes.
          AND because of that serious predicament ‘the people’ find them-selves in (when the vote fails to truly represent that which the people prefer!)a ‘NO-WIN’ situation.SO, how much of the pre-arranged outcomes are the people going to tolerate before they take matters into their own hands? It seems that ‘the people’,logically as any people who are truly concerned about their futures, are not quite sick of the thieving weasels yet to do much of anything about the sad state of affairs that surround elections…YET! Tick-Tock!

  2. “They’re all the same folks. Poltical parties? Which ones are involved here? One is called, get this, the “United Nationalist Alliance” (UNA). What exactly does being a “nationalist” mean in a nation that cannot even define what being “Filipino” means? The other is the “Liberal Party” — as if being “liberal” actually means something within the pointed head of the average Filipino voter.”

    Talking with Mom and Dad on this. Dad theorized that if Robredo still lived, GG’s suspension would have gone quietly.

  3. “Hundreds of barangay health workers from some municipalities were bused in to the Capitol grounds to show their support to the beleaguered governor. Many health workers when interviewed by the media complained that they joined the trip because they were misled into believing that they would receive bonuses from the governor’s office.”

    That sums up the extent of thought the average Pinoy voter gives to any political decision. It’s also another example of politicians using taxpayer funds for re-election and personal gain. Each time I see one of those insulting signs or banners on the side of the road declaring “See what I built for you” and the giant face of some self-serving politico I want to drive right through it. …or maybe paint balloons…hmmm……

  4. the order issued by Malacañang to suspend Garcia reportedly rests on thin ice. According to Garcia…
    (1) It is “an old case”.
    (2) The original complainant is deceased.
    (3) The action was based on “the account of a witness who was not even present during the alleged incidents”.

    But nothing in the above even suggests that she’s innocent of the accusation.

    1. An old case does not mean the accused did no wrong.
    2. The death of the complainant does not nullify a wrongful act.
    3. The weakness of an account of a witness can be rebutted in a court proceedings and should not be use to acquit or cleanse of wrongdoing an accused.

    That’s very elementary in the school of common sense.

    1. @Jonas
      Your biased judgement is improper as you are not part of the Judiciary. The presumption of innocence still applies to Governor Gwen Garcia. The Constitutional right of procedural and substantive due process also applies. BS Aquino is not the final judge on the matter as he only implements the law. The Judiciary (i.e. Court of Appeals) has the sole power to interpret the law on the matter. Whether BS Aquino committed abuse of discretion is still within the jurisdiction of the CA. It is obvious you are a yellow troll and there is nothing “elementary in the school of common sense” as you are not a member of the bench nor in a position to prejudge the petition already filed in the CA. Your ignorance of the law does not excuse you from my ridicule.

      1. Thomas, this born-to-be-a-moron attention whore says that he’s not an aquino fan and yet he’s being a dakilang mangongontra by always saying like whatever wrongdoings pnoy did, it’s still actually good. Oh and he’s also being a showoff that the pinoys are far more superior than any foreigners. What a malicious desperado this moron is.

        1. “puro reklamo pa kayo?”
          And this is obviously one of the stupid excuses da pinoy does. You just don’t want better results do you attention whore? Ikaw ba palagi na lang nasa kangkungan na panay sa bahala na? You are indeed born to be a moron. You’re smart but not wise, not intellectual and no different from vincensus ignoramus’ stupid mindset.

  5. Maybe she is guilty,maybe she is not,I am betting nothing that she is as corrupt as any other politician.
    The country is definetly starting to look like a dictatorship,but the rest of the world doesn’t care…they just keep their investments away.
    A few countries in S.E.Asia are starting to prosper due to the West’s search for slave labor.The Philippines is not one of them because of Corruption,Corruption and did I mention Corruption?
    Oh well,too bad,there is some money to be made for the li’l people.
    The big boys do not need it,but grab it anyway and so trickle down economics won’t be visiting the Philippines any time soon.
    I will double down on my nothing bet and wager that she will not go to jail,and if she did steal anything,it will not be returned.Lucky guess?

    1. Halatang di mo talaga binabasa ang article benson. Bumalik ka na sa kindergarten dahil ang tanga mong magbasa. Sige nga, saan dito nakalagay na mayor si gwen garcia??

      *grabs vincenzo and stabs him in the head 9000 times*

    2. tanga ka ba ?? hahahaha .. ipagpatuLoy nyo Lang yan mga bobo ! ! tingnan naLang natin this coming 2013 election yang mga LP na yan ! woooot .. one cebu cant stop booming .. kung walang cebu TAE tong bansa na ito ! saLamat kay gov .. pinaboom nya ng investment ang province namin .. OBVIOUS ba ?? ang Laki kaya ng TAX namin .. har² ! ! !

  6. If we make the assumption that Garcia is innocent (unlikely) and that the suspension order is illegal, what is the next move? I’m finding it difficult to understand what she hopes to gain by squatting. I understand the two sides squaring off with supporters in the streets but where does she think it will end? Would a smarter move be taking it to court?

  7. While BS Aquino was distracted by his “stressful” work schedule, accomplishments and perceived enemies… The Chinese are very busy with their very lucrative projects in the West Philippine Sea. The main headline of the Philippine Star today reads: “China now extracting oil from disputed waters” BS Aquino should have immediately acted to develop and explore our offshore territorial strategic resources. It seems that a beautiful lady like Gwen Garcia and his “immense work load” was too “stressful” that he needed a vacation. BS should have immediately acted in early 2012 to preempt Chinese exploration and production within disputed areas. Oh well, BS is still the sleeping president. Wake up BS Aquino! Strike while the iron is hot! Make oil exploration, development and production a priority before it is too late!

  8. Filipinos are despeccable–not just politicians but also the money hungry citizens who voted for these corrupt officials. I have yet to find a truly honest person there.

    1. mllions fight for survival on a daily basis. i think that majes people act out of character especially when tge supposed role models are lying, stealing, and killing on a regular basis. cut them some slack and focus on the culprits/causes rather than the victims of brainwashing and deprivation.

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