Gwen’s night-A A +A
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
ARE you dancing tomorrow?” I asked her when she called Saturday evening to greet me, “Pit Senyor!” “What do you think?” she asked in reply. “Don’t,” I said. “I agree with your brother (Byron). The risks are too high.”
Sunday evening, there she was in an all-white costume, taking center stage in the last dance before the grand finale of Sinulog 2013. “Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia,” her chief PR person, Sam Costanilla, who was emceeing the program, pronounced her name with unrestrained pride and glee as she made her grand appearance. The announcement was met with applause.
The dreaded jeers did not come. At least, I didn’t hear any from where I sat on the southernmost end of the grandstand where the TV 5 broadcast booth was. Some people swore that there were boos. Maybe, there were but they were drowned out by the cheers of her admirers.
Or maybe, not all of them were admirers. Maybe, some of them cheered for a different reason such as that her presence signified a thawing of tension at the Capitol where she continues to hole up in defiance of a suspension order issued by the President of the Republic.
The fact is that her dance (an ode to the rosquillo, a local pastry that Liloan entrepreneurs, including her son-in-law’s family, made famous), no, make that her night, passed without incident. When she went back to the Capitol, her office was still open. Her temporary replacement, Gov. Agnes Magpale, had kept her word.
I spoke to the acting governor on Frankahay Ta! (6:30 to 9 a.m., 101.9 News FM) yesterday morning. Have we seen the beginning of a new order in the Capitol where Garcia can walk in and out of her office unhampered and worry-free, I asked her.
They have always preached and practiced maximum tolerance, she replied. For as long as the suspended governor does not impede her (Magpale’s) running of the affairs of the provincial government, she does not consider that a problem.
But a line has to be drawn insofar as Garcia’s supporters are concerned, she hastened to add. She made particular reference to those who have converted the old session hall of the Provincial Board as their living quarters since the first days of the stand-off. “I have given orders to evict them,” Magpale said.
These people should leave voluntarily, if they haven’t done so yet. First of all, there is no more reason for them to continue their vigil, if that is what they have been doing, since their boss can now spend her nights at her own home. Secondly, while Garcia’s use of her office as temporary residence may be tolerated while the legal issues concerning her suspension remain pending in court, there is simply no justification for her supporters’ camping out in an adjoining room.
Sunday night at the Sinulog offered a glimpse of the good that can happen when people listen to reason and keep their word. Let’s hope that that lesson is not lost on the parties in the Capitol stand-off, including and sometimes, most especially, their supporters.
The Kintanars are in mourning because they just lost former Cebu City vice mayor Vicente “June” Kintanar Jr. That, and the fact that Cebu was celebrating the holiest of its seasons, didn’t seem to bother the carnappers who drove off with their gray Starex van bearing plate number GLL-639 early last Saturday morning. Ramon and Karla Kintanar Fernandez are crestfallen because June so loved the car that he wouldn’t even listen to suggestions that it be sold.
Luckily, the crime was caught on the security camera of a neighbor so the police should have an easier time catching the perpetrators. I call on Police Regional Office 7 Director Marcelo Garbo to demonstrate once again that under his watch, crime does not pay.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 22, 2013.