No ‘blaze of glory’ for Gwen?-A A +A
Sunday, September 2, 2012
WILL Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia leave Capitol with a bang or will she go out with a whimper? This is an interesting question considering the confluence of events that could strangle her rule in the months to come. Cebu’s first woman governor and arguably the most hardworking Provincial Government executive ever may end her Capitol stint on a sad note.
That depends, of course, on whether manipulative forces in the ruling Liberal Party would be able to do their thing in the coming days. This is the unfortunate part of this stage in Garcia’s governorship: the setup is stacked against her. Meaning, these forces could succeed.
Consider: The governor is identified with former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and supported the losing bid for president of Arroyo’s man, Gilbert Teodoro. There is therefore no love lost between her and President Noynoy Aquino.
Her father, Rep. Pablo Garcia, and congressmen identified with her party One Cebu are with the LP-led majority in the House of Representatives, but their support for the P-Noy administration is not all-out. The Garcias, for example, did not support the impeachment of former chief justice Renato Corona.
Compounding the problem are the cases filed against the governor with the Office of the Ombudsman. For one reason or another, the resolution of the cases was slow under the Arroyo administration.
The case involving the controversial purchase of the Balili property in Naga finally moved recently, but the timing was bad for the governor because it came just as she was listed as among the senatorial bets of the United Nationalist Alliance of Vice President Jejomar Binay and former president Joseph Estrada.
The recent death of Department of Interior and Local Government secretary Jesse Robredo seems to be not working also in Gwen’s favor. Robredo had earlier said that a case or two against the governor is on his desk awaiting his decision. Sources said then that Garcia could be suspended, but considering Robredo’s nature, that wasn’t a sure thing.
The movement of these cases was the basis used by Rep. Tomas Osmeña, the governor’s bitter political enemy, to claim that Garcia would be suspended for the duration of the campaign period for the May 2013 elections. But again, while Robredo was a friend of Osmeña, he could not be dictated upon to follow an obvious political maneuver.
But Robredo died, and was replaced by former Department of Transportation and Communications secretary Mar Roxas. Roxas is another Osmeña friend and has admitted that he is no Robredo. Will this development compound further the governor’s woes?
Meanwhile, the governor’s political machinery in the province has been under siege as the filing of the certificates of candidacy in October nears. LP snagged Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale, who will pair up with the party’s gubernatorial bet, Hilario “Junjun” Davide III. Other Provincial Board (PB) members followed, weakening Gwen’s hold on the PB.
This is obviously the reason the governor’s plan to introduce herself to other places in the country as a senatorial candidate has been temporarily put on hold. She has to help consolidate her party’s forces in order to ensure that One Cebu’s gubernatorial bet, Rep. Pablo John Garcia, would not be placed at a disadvantage.
These are not the best of times for the governor. Which is unfortunate because, considering her achievements, she deserves to go out in, as the rock band Bon Jovi would shout, a blaze of glory.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 03, 2012.