A test for Davide

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Thursday, April 3, 2014


IF WHAT the Provincial Board (PB) did recently is not part of a Liberal Party (LP) plan, then I would say that it has the unintended effect of testing the integrity of Gov. Hilario “Junjun” Davide III. I am referring to the case of Dumanjug Mayor Nelson Garcia.

The PB has recommended the suspension of Garcia for 60 days for abuse of power and usurpation. Garcia was accused by his vice mayor, Efren Gica, of appointing a municipal council secretary even when a provision in the Local Government Code states that such power is vested on the vice mayor, the municipal council presiding officer.

Garcia has filed a motion for reconsideration with the PB and Davide said he will have to wait for the said body to rule on the motion. That should give him time to ponder the meaning of the “Daang Matuwid” mantra that President Noynoy Aquino and the LP have been mouthing.

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I won’t dwell much on the merits and demerits of the case because the motivation of the people behind the move is obvious. Even the head of the League of Municipalities in the Philippines (LMP) in Cebu, Tuburan Mayor Democrito Diamante Jr., saw it.

Diamante is with the LP.

Diamante said the other day that the LMP won’t interfere in the Garcia case. He explained that politicians (obviously like the Dumanjug mayor) should always be ready for the political moves of his or her opponents, or words to that effect. So the motivation there is politics.

There are many factors why the PB, which is controlled by the LP, would finally make its move against Garcia, who was the LMP head when One Cebu party ruled the PB and Cebu province.

One, Nelson is the brother of former governor and now third district congresswoman Gwendolyn Garcia, who herself was booted out of office before her term ended through a suspension order by no less than the LP top gun himself, President Noynoy Aquino.

Two, he has a vice mayor, Efren Gica, who is with the LP and who, therefore would benefit from his suspension. Interestingly, it was also because the older Garcia had a vice governor, Agnes Magpale, who was an LP stalwart, that her suspension was implemented and even lengthened.

I have been very critical of the former governor’s suspension in December of 2012 because the politicking was obvious. To break Garcia’s and One Cebu’s control of the Capitol and the province, the LP had to plot her suspension to help them win in the 2014 elections. Only the naïve and the LP fanatics refused to see the scheme.

Frankly, with that move, I lost respect for the LP in Cebu and to one of the party stalwarts, Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, who engineered the suspension. Prior to that, I thought PNoy, who I supported in the 2010 polls, would be true to his Daang Matuwid slogan.

That’s why I said that the Nelson Garcia case will test Davide’s integrity. He said the other day after shaking hands with Garcia in an LMP activity that he has always tried to be objective in his decisions. We will see that when he decides on whether to suspend Garcia or not.

While Davide was one of the beneficiaries of Gwen Garcia’s suspension prior to the 2013 elections, he was not among those who strutted like peacocks during the forcible takeover of Capitol by local LP leaders. He was a Capitol outsider and stayed that way until he won.

So he apparently does not have the same mindset as the LP members who now dominate the PB. I therefore hope he is really immune from the politicking that his party mates have been practicing since they finally seized control of the Capitol and can really be fair and objective.

(khanwens@gmail.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 04, 2014.

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