Case filed vs Cebu vice guv, cops

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Sunday, December 30, 2012


CEBU CITY -- Acting Cebu Governor Agnes Magpale and three police officials will face a complaint filed by the son of Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia for dismantling the tents during a supposed prayer vigil of Garcia’s supporters at the Capitol.

Pablo “Paulo” Garcia III filed an administrative case of grave misconduct on Saturday before the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas against Magpale, Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 Director Marcelo Garbo Jr., Insp. Alvino Enguito, and Supt. Leopoldo Casbanag.

In his affidavit, Paulo said it was Magpale who had asked Garbo to dismantle the tents and chairs.

Garbo then allegedly instructed Cabanag and the latter relayed the order to Enguito.

Paulo said that on Dec. 19, there were 80-100 uniformed and armed PNP personnel who arrived at the Capitol and dispersed the participants of the prayer vigil.

That was the same day the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) left a copy of the six-month suspension order on Governor Garcia’s office door.

Melee

Upon hearing the commotion later that night, Paulo said, he and his friend Jose Maria Primitivo “Joey” Cal went down and asked the police to show an order to dismantle the tents.

He said the police did not answer him nor show any such order.

“We were threatened and intimidated by their long firearms,” the governor’s son said in his affidavit.

He said the police also failed to return the tents, which do not belong to the Province but were rented from a private supplier.

Last Wednesday, Paulo filed a robbery complaint against Garbo, Cabanag, Enguito and DILG Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II over the same incident.

‘Mar-tial law’

The Garcia camp has taken to calling the situation “Mar-tial law”, referring to the extra-tight security at the Capitol and the shutting down of the Province’s media outlets Sugbo TV and Sugbo News.

Until a few months ago, Magpale was the One Cebu party’s choice for the vice governorship. Their gubernatorial candidate, Rep. Pablo John Garcia (Cebu Province, third district), had announced the party’s offer for Magpale to seek office as his running mate. But Magpale, whose brother is Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras, chose to run with the Liberal Party instead.

Also last Wednesday, Enguito filed a complaint against Paulo, Cal and Tonyson Lee, whom he accused of direct assault for allegedly hitting him in the nape during the commotion.

Sun.Star Cebu tried to contact Magpale on Saturday regarding the complaint, but the calls went unanswered.

Garbo, for his part, said that by filing the complaint, the governor’s son is fueling the tension at the Capitol.

“This is not our fight in the first place. You can really see his arrogance,” the police official told Sun.Star Cebu.

The police have video footage of the commotion last Dec. 19 outside the Capitol. It showed Enguito of the Regional Public Safety Battalion (RPSB) getting hit.

The incident occurred around 11:20 p.m.

First strike

Garbo reiterated it was Paulo who started the trouble.

“Sino ang unang nangbatok? Hindi nga pumalag si Enguito kahit napahiya na siya (Who struck first? Enguito didn’t hit back, even if he was humiliated),” he added.

“We are not after anyone because we’re simply following orders. We are after good governance here,” he added.

In a separate interview, Supt. Cabanag, commanding officer of the RPSB 7, said what the governor’s son is doing is a form of harassment.

“Expected na ni kay ganahan sila mobawos (This is to be expected because they want to get back at us),” he said.

In his 25 years of service, he said, this was the first time he received a complaint, much less a grave misconduct case that could lead to his dismissal if he is found guilty.

During a command conference held Saturday in Camp Sergio Osmeña, officials decided that a new set of police officers be fielded to the Capitol so the officers who were on duty during the Christmas weekend can at least ring in the New Year with their families. (FMG/DSM of Sun.Star Cebu/Sunnex)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on December 31, 2012.

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