GOV. Hilario Davide III does not plan on asking House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to implement the dismissal order issued by the Office of the Ombudsman against Deputy Speaker Gwen Garcia after Garcia’s motion for reconsideration was denied.
“Dili ko manghilabot ana oi (That’s none of my business). That’s not my decision to make,” he said.
Garcia (Cebu, 3rd district) and Arroyo are known to be good friends.
Garcia, when she was governor, was an ally of the former president in the Lakas-Kampi Party before she joined the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) of former vice president Jejomar Binay in 2011.
Garcia also supported Arroyo when the latter ran for president in 2004.
The ombudsman affirmed its decision to dismiss Garcia from service over the purchase of filling materials worth P24.47 million for the former Balili property in Tinaan, City of Naga in 2012.
However, Garcia believes retired ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales’s “close” relationship with Davide’s father, retired chief justice Hilario Davide Jr., had something to do with the decision.
“That’s hilarious! The trouble with her is, she blames others for her folly, except herself,” the governor said.
Yesterday, Garcia appealed the ombudsman’s decision before the Court of Appeals Cebu Station.
She pointed out that it is clear under Section 21 of the Ombudsman Act that the body has no disciplining authority over her as a congresswoman.
The ombudsman has disciplinary authority over all elective and appointive officials in government and members of the Cabinet except for members of the House of Representatives, the Judiciary and impeachable officials.
“Ug mao kana ang gibarugan sa (That is the position of the) House of Representatives. Because in the Constitution, it is only Congress that can expel any members of the House itself,” Garcia said.
She believes the dismissal of her motion for reconsideration and her dismissal from service were politically-motivated considering that the criminal aspect of her case had been dropped.
Five years have passed since the decision was rendered and it only came to light when she announced that she was running for governor again.
Garcia said her political opponents want to confuse Cebuanos with the ombudsman’s latest decision.
Garcia beat Davide in the gubernatorial election for her last term in 2010 by over 96,000 votes.
In December 2012, the first female governor of Cebu was suspended for six months by former president Benigno Aquino III, an ally of Davide in the Liberal Party.
Toledo City Mayor John Henry “Sonny” Osmeña, a former critic of Garcia, said that if she cannot run for governor, he will support whoever President Duterte picks to run against Davide next year.
However, Osmeña assured her of his support if she is able to run, describing her as someone who is energetic and progressive.
“Wa koy pagduda ana, niadto gani (There’s no doubt I can deliver, in the past) I was able to give Davide 20,000 majority (votes). Now with a full blown campaign, I am sure if modagan si Gwen Garcia (runs, I can deliver) a 40,000 majority,” said the former senator, who added that Toledo City has 109,000 registered voters, or one third of the voting population of the third district. (SCG OF SUPERBALITA)