EIGHT years is a long time for a special appellate collegial court to realize that it had been wrong in filing a case against Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and seven others over the purchase of the Balili Property in the City of Naga in 2008.
Of course, the Sandiganbayan didn’t use those words exactly. Otherwise, it would be too easy for the public, majority of whom are not familiar with legalese, to understand that the filing of two counts of graft and one count of technical malversation against Garcia and company was politically motivated and not based on evidence.
Hence, it “granted the demurrer to evidence filed by Garcia and her co-respondents which is basically a motion to dismiss the case on the ground of insufficiency of evidence.”
But hey, as they say, “better late than never.”
It had been one of the longest witch hunts in Cebu’s history during which Garcia’s name was dragged through the mud. But she has always held her head high and she never wavered in believing that the truth would eventually come out.
Perhaps, it is important to point out that news of the cases’ dismissal coincided with the lighting of the Christmas tree on the Capitol grounds on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, or eight years to the day that Garcia found out she would be suspended.
What a difference eight years make, eh?
Having just won a hard-fought battle, she can now concentrate on fighting a more pressing problem that is the coronavirus pandemic and the culture of fear that has emerged as a result.
The Province under Garcia was the first local government in the island to ease restrictions so it could apply CPR to the economy that had been devastated by months of lockdown to try and contain a disease that had, so far, claimed the lives of 405 Cebuanos as of Friday, Nov. 27, out of a total population of close to three million.
The governor said she had no choice but to address the plight of her constituents, many of whom had lost their jobs and could hardly put food on their tables since the country was placed on community quarantine in March.
She couldn’t stand by and watch helplessly as many Cebuanos suffer because some sectors ignore the data and prefer to keep the public from picking up the pieces of their shattered lives for a semblance of normality.
Garcia is, after all, the governor. It is her responsibility to do everything within her power to keep all Cebuanos safe.
To do that, she is willing to face the consequences, but she is confident she is doing the right thing, based on the latest information she has on the disease.
I agree and totally support the governor’s move even though it may be contrary to national policy.
In fact, I, too, am confident she will be vindicated. Hopefully, it won’t take eight years.