In an interview with RMN-DyHP yesterday, Garcia said the recent decision of the Ombudsman dismissing her from service over the development of the controversial Balili property in 2012 is among the “forces” being used to stop her from running again as governor.
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Gwen eyeing governorship
(The Freeman) - February 14, 2018 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Deputy Speaker Gwendolyn Garcia is considering of returning to the Capitol.

In an interview with RMN-DyHP yesterday, Garcia said the recent decision of the Ombudsman dismissing her from service over the development of the controversial Balili property in 2012 is among the “forces” being used to stop her from running again as governor.

“I am now seriously considering actually kay daw desperate move naman ni,” Garcia said, referring to the Ombusman decision.

 The Ombudsman said Garcia committed grave misconduct when she was still governor when she entered into a contract with ABF Construction to develop the Balili property even without authority from the Provincial Board.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales also said Garcia violated the law when she entered into the contract sans a certification of appropriation and fund availability for the expenditure.

“Kining gihimo ni Ombudsman Morales, murag nagpamatuod sa mga huhungihong nga diay nahadlok gyud ang naglingkod ron nga gobernador nga akoy modagan. This just confirmed what many Cebuanos are already saying,” Garcia said.

 She cited the supposed closeness of Morales and former Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide, Jr., the father of Governor Hilario Davide III.

The name of Garcia as returning gubernatorial bet in 2019 was floated during the mass oathtaking of the ruling Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) of President Duterte in Cebu last November 2017.

The name of Fifth District Rep. Ramon “Red” Durano VI also surfaced as Garcia’s possible running mate.

Yet even before November, there have been rumors of Garcia returning to the Capitol.

Garcia said these rumors are more of an “expression of hope” of the Cebuanos for Cebu to be number one again.

Garcia said she has seen how Cebu has slid from being number one and host of many national and international events.

 “Tingale, gipangita na ron sa mga Sugbuanon,” she said.

Garcia, who still has one last term in Congress said she will run under PDP-Laban and One Cebu Party.

Sought for comment, Davide said, “The Ombudsman has spoken. Rep. Garcia should just avail herself of the remedies provided by law. Let justice take its course.”

Garcia’s last remaining months as governor were uneventful when, in 2012, former president Benigno Aquino III, through the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), suspended her for usurpation and grave abuse of authority.

Her suspension stemmed from a complaint filed by the camp of the late vice governor Gregorio Sanchez, Jr., which accused Garcia of hiring consultants without authority from the Provincial Board and for hiring employees for the vice governor’s office.

Garcia, who belongs to the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), said the move to suspend her was politically motivated. —JMO (FREEMAN)

GWENDOLYN GARCIA
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