Residents from towns, cities seek reconciliation-A A +A
Thursday, January 10, 2013
SOME came on their own, others did not know exactly why they were in Cebu City yesterday and got on a bus for free. There were also Cebu City residents who came to show gratitude to suspended Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia.
Then there were those who joined the prayer rally at the Fuente Osmeña rotunda to pray for peace and an end to the conflict that resulted in Cebu having two governors:
Garcia who is suspended for six months and Acting Gov. Agnes Magpale.
For Capitol employees, though, it was business as usual amid the cheering and speeches outside their offices.
But they noted that there were fewer transactions yesterday so they were able to take a peek at the rally. They said they were free to watch the rally.
“Kung kinsa man gobernor, amo dawaton. Ganahan man pud ko niya (Garcia). Luoy man pud siya, ipahuman na lang unta iya termino (We will accept whoever is governor. I also like her and she has my sympathy. She should just be allowed to finish her term),” said an employee of the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO).
A group from Aloguinsan, Cebu brought placards stating “Aloguinsan loves Gov. Gwen Garcia.”
Anita Canbañero, 49, a resident of Bonbon, Aloguinsan, said Garcia supported their town. She said they spent their own funds to come to Cebu City.
Bibi Briones said they learned about the rally through the radio and television, and decided to commute to Cebu City to join. She said they only have enough for fare.
Pia, a barangay health worker (BHW) in Aloguinsan, said Garcia’s father, Pablo, now congressman of the second district, had a high school built in their village. “Tungod nila, na-edukar ang mga tawo sa among probinsya ug naka-graduate ang akong mga anak (Because of them, many were able to finish high school),” she added.
She said the suspended governor was the only one who gave the BHWs in her town cash allowances. She added that Garcia is strict but kind.
Miel John Librea, 25, a resident of Barangay Quiot, Cebu City said he and his neighbors went to Fuente Osmeña and joined the march to the Capitol to call for a reconciliation between Garcia and Magpale.
Aida Sapyot, 52, a member of the urban poor community in Cebu City said her group joined the march in support for freedom and peace.
She believed Garcia should not have been suspended. “Dili nalang unta i-suspend, humanon nalang unta kay six months nalang ang kulang nya. Base sa akong nabantayan, tarong man ang iyang serbisyo (She should be allowed to complete the remaining six months in her term. From what I observed, she performed well),” she said.
But a resident of Barangay Labangon, Esmeralda Dagobo, 66, told Sun.Star Cebu that they were merely told to come to Fuente Osmeña.
“Giingnan lang mi na manimba daw mi nya human magparade (We were just told to hear mass and participate in the parade),” she said.
She also said that someone asked her if she was a supporter of Garcia and if they received Christmas presents.
She added that they were told that someone at the Capitol will refund their jeepney fare.
A resident of Medellin who introduced himself only as Antonio, said he did not know why they were told to join the march in Cebu City.
“Igo ra man mi gipakuyog ni Mayor (Ricardo Ramirez). Daghan gud kaayo mi, lapas usa ka-bus (The mayor just told us to go. We were many),” Antonio said.
Sun.Star Cebu observed someone circulating an attendance sheet. The person who asked not to be named said the list was for the orderly distribution of snacks after the mass.
Aloguinsan Councilor Patring Sempranka said residents from 15 barangays in their town came to Cebu City on board 10 buses. But when they arrived in the City of Naga, he said, policemen blocked them and confiscated the licenses of their bus drivers.
He said Naga City Mayor Valdemar Chiong who saw them on his way to Cebu City intervened and they were allowed to proceed.
Sempranka said they support Garcia because she took the trouble to visit their mountain villages and talk to residents.
A barangay councilor from Pito-on, Dumanjug said she represents her family, which supports Garcia. “Ari lang mi bisan wala mi kwarta. Nanghuwam ko og pamlete (I came here even though I had to borrow money for the fare),” she added.
Barangay Captain Enie Escandalo from Tubod-Bitoon, Dumanjug said Garcia implemented many projects in their village, including their water supply and streetlighting.
An employee of the Provincial Treasurer’s Office decided to stay at the Capitol past 5 p.m. and wait for the traffic to ease.
She said it would be risky to be out during a rally. But she observed that the rally was peaceful like the ones conducted recently. (USJR Mass Comm Interns Danise Viviene C. Adora, Bernadette F. Balungcas and Rachel Anne M. Umpad)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 10, 2013.