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Gwen says Vidal is backing her on Sugbuak, war vs. insurgents

Governor Gwendolyn Garcia has gained Cebu Archbishop Ricardo Cardinal Vidal's support and understanding in her all-out war policy against communists and terrorists, and on issues concerning illegal occupants of province-owned properties in barangay Luz, the USC-WRC project, and the pending bills seeking to subdivide the existing Cebu Province.

During the weekend the governor met with the cardinal to discuss various issues confronting the province as she had several times in the past.

"Maayo man gyud kaayo si cardinal no? I would say, nakasabot siya why we're doing these things the way we're doing," she said.

In her meeting with the prelate last Saturday afternoon, the governor was glad that the former has been supportive of her policies and understood her stand even on issues as controversial as her anti-insurgency campaign, and critical as eviction of informal settlers in barrio Luz.

In both these issues, militant groups and affected residents as in the case of Barrio Luz have earlier sought the help of Vidal.

In her one hour and a half meeting with the prelate, Garcia said she comprehensively discussed with him her total all-out war pronouncement against communists and terrorists who are trying "to wear two masks", in allusion to their being the legal fronts of communist-rebels by getting a seat in Congress as party-list organizations.

The governor discussed with the cardinal the holistic approach by which she is going to address the problems with communists and terrorists; that is not by employing the military solution but through total cognizance of the entire situation by taking necessary steps.

She said her multi-faceted policy will be taken cared of by the divisions on rewards, legal, public relations, and on socio-economic and livelihood projects of the provincial anti-insurgency task force.

As for her impending plan to evict 135 illegal occupants of its 21,792-square-meter province-owned property in Barrio Luz, Cebu, City, the cardinal reportedly knew the real situation because the church too became a victim of professional squatters when they donated a hectare of land in the same village to over 100 informal settlers.

After some time the beneficiaries either sold or leased their right to occupy because they saw new faces when they visited the place.

Further, the cardinal has also reiterated his support of the province's countermoves against three pending bills in Congress sponsored by Reps. Antonio Yapha of the 2nd, Simeon Kintanar of the 3rd district, and Clavel Asas-Martinez of the 4th district that seek to subdivide the existing Cebu Province into three more provinces by converting their respective legislative districts into new provinces. - Cristina C. Birondo

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