Gwen’s troubles continue-A A +A
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
WHILE still serving the six months suspension imposed on her by the Office of the President for grave abuse of authority, Gov. Gwen Garcia's woes continue.
Her application for a temporary restraining order (TRO) was denied by the Court of Appeals; instead it decided to resolve the merits of the case.
Then the Office of the Ombudsman denied, for lack of merit, her motion for reconsideration on the graft and technical malversation cases filed against her in connection with the purchase of the Balili property.
This means that she will soon be arraigned by the Sandiganbayan, unless she gets a TRO from the higher court. Once she is arraigned, an automatic 90-day suspension awaits her.
In the administrative aspect of the Balili case, the Ombudsman found her and five other officials involved in the deal guilty of grave misconduct. But she was “saved by the bell” and won’t be sanctioned because of the Aguinaldo doctrine (she was reelected in 2010).
Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama is mad at Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 Chief Marcelo Garbo. The mayor plans to file a “rainfall” of cases against the police officer and wants him eased out of the region. Mike accused Garbo of converting the Capitol into a police garrison by sending a battalion of policemen there. Rama also questioned the putting up of police yellow lines at the entrance of the Capitol. It’s as if a crime was committed there.
In fairness to the police, they were not the ones who padlocked Gwen's office. It was the group of Provincial Administrator Eduardo Habin. The police were just there to provide security.
But I understand Mike's concerns. He has reason to protest not because he and Gwen are friends but because he is concerned with the image of the city. He doesn’t want the Capitol controversy to paint a negative image of the city due to the presence of many policemen, some of them in fatigue uniform and carrying long firearms. However, the number of policemen there has already been reduced.
But I think there is no need for Garbo to coordinate with Mike because he is not under the mayor. Besides, PRO 7 did not utilize personnel from the Cebu City Police Office.
Those deployed at the Capitol now are from the Regional Public Safety Battalion, which is directly under the regional command.
Well, it is the prerogative of the mayor to file charges against Garbo. As for his demand to replace the police officer, I am sure he will not get the support of the higher-ups of the Philippine National Police (PNP). His move will just be an exercise in futility.
Consider this. Garbo and Director General Alan Purisima were batch mates at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA). Also, Purisima cannot just transfer Garbo without the concurrence of Interior and Local Governments Secretary Mar Roxas or President Noynoy Aquino considering that regional directors are presidential appointees.
Besides, in an election period, transfers of government employees are prohibited unless with clearance from the Commission on Elections. Busa Mr. Mayor, bisan dili ka ganahan sa dagway anang Garbo, agwantaha na lang na.
Incidentally, Garbo was already up for promotion to the level of directorial staff in Camp Crame last December. But when Gwen's suspension was served and the Capitol standoff occurred, he was ordered to stay put. Kun ma-assign na si Garbo didto sa Camp Crame, mora pod na siya og bao nga gilabay sa tubig.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 06, 2013.