VM ‘turns the tables’ against his accuser

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Monday, August 11, 2014


IT WAS Mayor Nelson Garcia, not him, who tampered with a receipt from a restaurant, said Dumanjug Vice Mayor Edgar Gica.

Garcia had filed malversation of public funds and falsification of official document complaints against Gica before the anti-graft office for allegedly tampering a Ding Qua Qua receipt worth P11,435 so it would appear P21,435.

Town officials had a consultation meeting at the restaurant last April 25.

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Gica was then acting mayor, as Garcia was preventively suspended as a result of a case filed by Gica.

Gica said he submitted four separate receipts, including the receipt from Ding Qua Qua. The four receipts added up to more than P21,980.

“Asa na man ang ubang resibo (Where are the other receipts)?” Gica asked.

He said the mayor did not show these to him, but he said he has a certified true copy of the other three receipts.

Gica said if the Ding Qua Qua receipt had a correction it should have been countersigned.

“Siya o iya ra mga kauban ang naghimo ana (He or his allies must have been responsible),” Gica said on the alleged tampering of receipt.

Gica said he will file falsification charges against Garcia this week.

The mayor, for his part, said he will face the charges Gica will file against him.

“Defence ra man na niya, wa may kawatan nga motug-an (That’s his defense since no one admits to being a thief),” Garcia said.

Moot

In a related development, Regional Trial Court Branch 58 Judge Ma. Lynna Adviento has dismissed the civil suit that Garcia filed against Gica and Gov. Hilario Davide III last May.

Adviento dropped the petition after Garcia informed her that his petition has been mooted after his 60-day preventive suspension lapsed on June 11.

In May, Garcia filed the petition to reverse the 60-day preventive suspension that provincial officials imposed on him for allegedly committing grave abuse of authority.

He accused Davide and Gica of grave abuse of discretion.

The governor placed Garcia under 60-day preventive suspension based on the Provincial Board’s (PB) recommendation for grave abuse of authority on April 11.

Gica filed an administrative complaint against Garcia last September for allegedly usurping the power of the vice mayor when the latter designated a new Sangguniang Bayan secretary.

In his three-page order, Davide agreed with the findings of the PB’s committee on complaints and investigation, which was tasked to resolve the administrative complaint filed by Gica.

Capitol’s response

Replying to the suit, the Provincial Government asked the judge to dismiss the petition for failure to state cause of action due to the failure of Garcia to exhaust administrative proceedings.

The petition should also be dismissed because Garcia violated the rule against forum shopping for filing similar petition with the ombudsman, said Provincial Attorney Marino Martinquilla in the motion to dismiss.

Martinquilla also pointed out the preventive suspension has already been served, thus rendering the case for injunction moot and academic.

Garcia’s suspension order ended last June 11.

“Most importantly, enjoining the investigation in the administrative case is without basis in law,” said Martinquilla.

Garcia belongs to One Cebu Party, headed by former governor and now Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia (Cebu, 3rd district). Gica is an ally of Davide’s Liberal Party. OCP/GMD

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 12, 2014.

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