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Guv asks Malacañang to dismiss case

CEBU, Philippines - As her answer to the grave misconduct complaint filed by Sanchez.

Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia asked the Office of the President in Malacañang to dismiss the case filed by Vice Governor Gregorio Sanchez, Jr. against her for alleged encroachment of legislative powers and grave misconduct.

The case was earlier filed by Sanchez before the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Civil Service Commission (CSC) but it was referred to the Office of the President.

Garcia, in her answer, said it is not the executive which is encroaching on the powers of the legislative but the other way around. “For clearly, it is the petitioner who is illegally arrogating unto himself, although he is just part of the legislative, the powers of the executive and then crying foul when reminded of his illegal actuations,” Garcia said.

Sanchez complained about Garcia signing the appointments of contractual and casual employees and the slashing by 61 percent of the 2011 budget of his office; cutting of the legislative publication; transfer of funding of the legislative research and codification project; hiring of consultants without authority from Sangguniang Panlalawigan and the issuance of check for P10 million as donation to the victims of typhoon Ondoy without authority of the SP.

Garcia said Sanchez has no cause of action as most of the acts were allegedly committed before June 30, 2010 or during her previous term of office which is covered by the Aguinaldo Doctrine while others were already resolved by the Court.

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The Regional Trial Court had denied Sanchez’s injunction and temporary restraining order application, prompting the Provincial Board to approve the 2011 budget.

The RTC already dismissed the mandamus case filed by Sanchez claiming his authority to sign contracts of his employees and consultants after he withdrew the case on the ground of alleged bias of Judge Fiel Navarro.

Garcia pointed out “the very limited powers” of the vice-governor as the presiding officer and in case of vacancy, to assume the duties and functions of the governor.

She also explained that the Legislative Assistance Fund and the Provincial Development Assistance Fund refer to one and the same program, which is for the development, and the implementation of which belongs to the governor.

Garcia is invoking her power “to exercise general supervision and control over all programs, projects, services, and activities of the provincial government and to appoint all officials and employees whose salaries and wages are wholly or mainly paid out of provincial funds.”

The said powers include authorizing any publication and overtime work of the staff, Garcia said.

She added that it need not be said that the hiring of consultants by the governor is authorized by the PB when it passed and approved the budget for the said positions/items. — (FREEMAN)

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