‘For abuse of authority’: PNoy suspends Cebu governor
By Joyce Pangco Panares | Posted on Dec. 19, 2012 at 12:01am | 901 views
President Aquino suspended Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia for six months for alleged grave abuse of authority, a senior Malacanang official said on Tuesday.
The 11-page suspension order signed by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa was transmitted to the Department of Interior and Local Government yesterday, said the official, who asked not to be identified because he has no authority to speak on the issue.
“The suspension means that Garcia will not be in power before, during and after the May 2013 mid-term elections,” the official said, who described the order as an early flanking move to cut down political risks in opposition strongholds before the runup to national elections next year.
Garcia told the Manila Standard Today in a telephone interview the timing of the suspension order was suspicious and the basis of the order was an old case in which the complainant is dead.
The suspension order stemmed from Garcia’s alleged refusal to release the budget of the late Vice Governor Gregorio Sanchez Jr, who died in April 2011, and she allegedly sat on request for renewal of contracts of 57 casual and contractual employees of the vice-governors office.
Garcia released the funds to Magpale as soon as Sanchez died, the suspension order said.
“There is an upcoming electoral exercise. One cannot help but be suspicious of the timing of this decision. It is sad because this goes to show that they (administration) want to play dirty in the 2013 elections,” Garcia said.
“This is an old case. The complainant has actually died already, and they based their decision on the account of a witness who was not even present during the alleged incidents,” she said.