CEBU 3rd District Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia’s seat in Congress is safe notwithstanding the order of the Ombudsman dismissing her. There are precedents and the political configuration in the House, where she is a deputy to Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, favors her.
Her lawyers - her family has an abundant supply including two bar topnotchers - still have a lot of work left to do, though. She has to have the dismissal order reversed because it carries with it perpetual disqualification from holding public office.
The House can shield her only for as long as she is its member. The situation becomes tricky when she seeks another public office. For example, if, as she has announced, she will run for her old post in the Capitol, her permanent ban from public office could be a problem.
She has to go to court to ask that the Ombudsman’s order be overturned if she wants to avoid any possible legal challenge to her candidacy. But for her to secure a reversal, she cannot just claim that Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales has an axe to grind against her and that the timing of the order stinks. She has to prove that the decision is without basis because the contract that she entered into for the purchase of filling materials for the Balili property was in fact valid and above board.
Mayor Tomas Osmeña may be everything his critics and political enemies paint him to be. But a killer and a stupid one, too? Give me a break.
This is no brief for the mayor. As he has shown many times in the past, he doesn’t even need a lawyer to defend himself. Besides, I have a problem with Osmeña. He has neglected Tormis St. and I am taking it personally because I have a bad back and the condition has worsened from the bumps that I suffer everyday while traveling on that poor excuse, thanks to City Hall inefficiency, of a road.
But my goodness, you have to credit the mayor with more sense than hiring killers who do not bother to cover their faces when committing the murder and then leave an eyewitness alive. Osmeña is arrogant but he is not an idiot.
It does not help that he was finally named as the “boss” of the alleged mastermind only after many weeks of persistent rumors that he was a suspect. Why is the story being told in installments? And why should credence be given to a testimony of a witness who claims he has been told about, but was never able to meet, the “boss”?
Osmeña claims that his being implicated in the murder of Imok Rupinta is politically motivated. I don’t think so. But in the remote event that it is, he should thank the conspirators against him for making it easier for people to forget his inadequacies and sympathize with him by turning him into a martyr.