Magpale questions bills; Garcia blames errors-A A +A
Saturday, January 5, 2013
THE Province was billed for a trip made by the governor’s son last July. It was also billed for the food and lodging of over 100 health workers on the same day some health workers held a vigil in support of Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia last month.
But Rep. Pablo John Garcia said these were merely errors in the bills that can be corrected, and that neither his family nor One Cebu party intended to charge these to the Capitol.
The arrival of at least two suppliers asking for payments was among the highlights of Day 16 since the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) left a copy of an order suspending the governor for six months.
Governor Garcia said that Acting Gov. Agnes Magpale should have run a convenience store if she wanted to focus on listing down all the payables.
“Kung anha ra gyud kutob ang iyang mentalidad, instead of running a Province, sari-sari store unta iyang ipadagan kay mao nang magtan-aw ta’g listahan sa utang,” Garcia said.
Magpale clarified the suppliers were the one who came to her office to ask for payments and that she did not seek them out.
“I am sorry if that is how she sees the situation, but every day, nagkadaghan ang maningil (more people come to my office to collect payments for the Province’s debts),” Magpale said.
Representatives from a caterer and a travel agency visited Magpale’s office yesterday.
Rosalinda Du of 3L Catering said their company wants to collect P1.5 million for
catering services and packed meals for different events. They first billed the Province last September, she added.
Magpale told reporters that some agencies have agreed to let the Capitol make staggered payments.
Skylark Travel and Tours, represented by owner Malyn Paradero, also submitted her billing statements for P376,355.18 to Magpale’s office yesterday.
Two different bills were questioned.
One, found by Magpale’s transition internal control unit (Ticu), showed that the Province was billed for a trip that the governor’s son Paulo and his wife Michelle made in July last year.
The Capitol was billed P12,028 for Cebu-Manila round-trip tickets and P8,648 for Manila-Laoag tickets last July 2 and 3.
Congressman Garcia said that Magpale’s camp should not blame them for the fault of suppliers.
“Paulo and Michele are not employees of the Province and they cannot be on official travel,” said Garcia. He explained that at that time, Rep. Imelda Marcos had invited Governor Garcia to Laoag City, but the governor could not make it so she sent her son and his wife, as her representatives.
“There was never any intention on our part (to charge this to the Province) because this will never be paid and will never pass audit,” the congressman said.
He also clarified that the Capitol was not made to pay for some barangay health workers’ food and accommodations in Sugbutel on Dec. 18.
Magpale announced earlier that the bill was charged to the Capitol. She said the statement of account has the words “One Cebu” and the names of those who supposedly stayed in the facility.
A representative of the sales department of Sugbutel said the Capitol paid a total of P231,845.
The payment includes the dates Nov. 26, when 483 barangay health workers (BWHs) were accommodated for their general assembly; Dec. 11, when 76 athletes stayed in the hotel; and Dec. 18, when there were 126 BHWs accommodated.
On Dec. 18, a prayer vigil was held in support of Governor Garcia, amid rumors that she was about to be suspended. The DILG arrived with the suspension order the next day.
Sugbutel sent the first billing on Dec. 21 while the second billing was on Dec. 28.
“If it is charged to One Cebu, then it should not be charged to the Province. It’s as simple as that,” Congressman Garcia said. “One Cebu will pay for it.”
He also belittled allegations made by “a disgruntled few.”
Forty-three leaders of a non-government organization (NGO) who supported President Aquino when he ran in 2010 had a meeting last Thursday night. They invited Magpale.
In the open forum, a woman from Mandaue City told the acting governor that some of the women in her group were complaining. (She asked reporters to withhold her name.)
She alleged that they were invited to the Capitol last Dec. 19 and promised five kilos of rice and P200 cash. So they went to the Capitol, in three mini-buses.
The woman told Magpale that the women received P150 each, three days after the event.
Sought for reaction, Congressman Garcia said these were all loose talks.
“In a crowd of 5,000 I know that the media will look for one person who will say, ‘I am not here on my own free will’, because that is news to them,” he said.
He challenged the person who made the allegation to come out in the open and identify who promised them P200 each, because the Garcias have never promised anything to those who will show their support to the governor.
“That’s the line of the Liberal Party, ila gani P500 o P1,000 (they claimed we were offering P500 to P1,000),” he pointed out.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 05, 2013.