Editorial: A problem like Garbo-A A +A
Friday, January 4, 2013
WHEN Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 Chief Marcelo Garbo assumed his post in 2011, he was reported to have brought with him a public relations officer. That said much about the man and his intentions. But even that move could not hide the fact that after almost two years as PRO 7 chief, his stint can be described as, at best, lackluster.
There is no question that the post Garbo is holding now is strategic if the goal is to rise in the Philippine National Police (PNP) hierarchy. Every move of the PRO 7 chief will be noticed by top PNP officials and even by its mother unit, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG). Garbo obviously is aware of that.
It would be good to ask, then, how much Garbo’s eagerness to please his superiors contributed to the tumult that shook the Provincial Capitol last Dec. 19 when the DILG enforced the order to suspend Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and for Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale to take over as acting governor.
That “takeover” featured an encounter between the police and Garcia’s supporters the aftermath of which has prompted both the police and the Garcia camp to file separate cases in court against each other. For days, a big number of PRO 7-deployed personnel guarded the Capitol building, put up barricades there and strictly checked visitors, transforming the place into a virtual police garrison.
It was a case of overkill, which was not flattering to Malacañang and ultimately to Garbo’s DILG superiors as accusations of an undeclared martial law being put in place at the Capitol were raised by the political opposition not only in Cebu but also in the national capital.
Garbo had to back off, restoring normalcy in Capitol operations.
But the man just wouldn’t let go. He keeps dangling the idea of physically removing the governor from her office, even admitting to a reporter of another local paper that he had suggested to Magpale to set a time frame to resolve the Capitol impasse by the end of the holiday season. He didn’t say how he and Magpale intend to “resolve the impasse” but that can be read between the lines.
Garbo has said that he does not want to be dragged into the battle being waged by the two major political camps in the province. But it is obvious that he is doing his own politicking—which is another way of saying he is trying to ingratiate himself to DILG’s top gun.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 04, 2013.