FORMER Cebu vice governor Democrito Barcenas yesterday urged Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia to stop using Capitol resources in the campaign sorties of One Cebu, saying this is “illegal and immoral.”
Barcenas, chairman of the Aquino-Roxas Movement in Cebu, said Garcia should be ashamed every time she uses vehicles owned by the Provincial Government, drivers who get their salary from the Provincial Government and gasoline using Provincial Government funds.
“That’s abuse of authority. The worst is that the people in the rural areas are suffering from hunger and some died of illnesses because the Cebu Provincial Government neglected them. She will suffer bad karma,” Barcenas said.
But Capitol denied the allegations of Barcenas.
“I hope Atty. Barcenas can come up with specifics,” said Capitol consultant on information and revenue generation Rory Jon Sepulveda.
Sepulveda urged Barcenas to identify what government properties were used during the campaign of Garcia and vice gubernatorial bet Glenn Soco.
The consultant said if Barcenas can provide specifics, then there will be an investigation.
Sepulveda said Garcia has a standing executive order that no government property will be used for campaigning or any activity with a semblance of partisanship.
Garcia, since the start of the campaign period last Friday, has stopped using her government-issued Nissan Patrol and is now using her personal vehicle.
“They (Barcenas and company) should not rest on generalization; they should raise it properly,” said Sepulveda.
Barcenas also alleged that Garcia employed hundreds of people and deployed them all over the province to campaign for her, Soco and One Cebu’s presidential bet Gilberto “Gibo” Teodoro Jr.
He said they were informed by their volunteers that carpenters working for the Capitol were the ones who installed billboards of Garcia, Soco and Teodoro.
“Our volunteers may conduct a citizen’s arrest on any Capitol employee who will be caught campaigning for Garcia and turn them over to the police or the Office of the Ombudsman for investigation and filing of charges,” Barcenas said.
Barcenas also criticized Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas Pelagio Apostol for sitting on the cases filed against the governor.
“The people are entitled to know the status of the cases against Gwen especially that they are now thinking whether to reelect her or not,” Barcenas said.
He said they do not care if Garcia spends a huge sum of money in the campaign as long as public funds aren’t involved.
The Aquino-Roxas Movement is now gathering strong evidence against the use of Capitol resources for Garcia’s campaign so they can file charges, Barcenas said.
“Using government vehicles, government drivers and government gasoline for the campaign of Garcia and Soco is immoral in the sense that the poor people with illnesses, from different towns will not be transported to the hospital without paying for the fuel. There is fuel for campaign sorties and no fuel to transport patients to the hospital? What kind of government is this?” Barcenas said.
Liberal Party presidential candidate Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III has widened his lead over his closest rival Sen. Manny Villar in the latest surveys.
In a press release, lawyer Augusto Go, chairman emeritus of the Noy-Mar Volunteers Cebu, said Aquino fared strongly in the Visayas where, according to the Social Weather Stations survey, he got 46 percent.
But he refused to declare that Cebu is Noynoy country, saying that “that would be presumptuous.”
“Nobody owns the Cebuanos,” he said. “They are mature and intelligent enough to make an informed judgment on who they think could best lead the country in these trying times.”
“Apparently, that person is Aquino, at least as of the time of the survey. Our challenge is how to maintain that level of trust and confidence,” he added.