GOV. Hilario Davide III has no bragging rights over the Capitol being the richest province in terms of equity and assets, according to his predecessor.

“The Commission on Audit (COA) report about the Province being the country’s number one in financial equity and assets is also proof that the administration officials had lied when they claimed that the Capitol was bankrupt” when Davide took over from her as governor in 2013, said Third District Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia in a press statement.

“Cebu had always been number one based on COA (Commission on Audit) financial performance reports during all those years that I served as governor,” Garcia said.

She said it was during her first term that the Capitol’s P5-billion assets were raised to P28 billion.

She said the value (P28 billion) “was merely inherited from my time.”

Blame game

“He (Davide) can check the report, check out the facts if he would just do his homework,” Garcia said.

Davide, for his part, said Cebu is in a better position now than it was under his predecessor.

“Remember, the Province was fortunate Governor Gwen was suspended when she was already bleeding our coffers dry,” said Davide.

When Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale took over as acting governor while Garcia was suspended in the last months of the latter’s term, the two officials gave conflicting reports of the Capitol’s financial status.

At the end of Garcia’s term in June 2013, Capitol’s payables reportedly went down from P1 billion to P700 million, Magpale said then.

But Garcia had pointed out that Capitol had P729 million in bank deposits, insisting that her administration did not owe any financial institution or bank.

“This administration has started with a lie. They continue to lie, taking Cebuanos for fools,” said Garcia, who had served nine years as Cebu’s first woman governor.

Garcia said Cebu’s status as number one has always been her pride and this was always in her speeches when she was governor.

Governor’s retort

The Capitol then had no need to take out a loan to purchase heavy equipment, a P250-million contract that was given to the highest bidder that had previously been disqualified, she said.

Davide, though, credited the healthy state of Capitol resources to Magpale’s good sense of fiscal management during Garcia’s suspension and to his administration.

It is brought about by giving our officers the full trust and confidence they deserve, said Davide.

Davide said Cebuanos don’t need Garcia’s false sense of self and all the baggage that comes with it.

“We need someone who can bring us all together to work together. That is not Winston or Gwen,” Davide stated in his press statement.

Last year, the second year of Davide’s term, the Capitol had P28.181 billion in equity and P29.695 billion in total assets, making it the richest province in the country.

Equity is the difference between a local government’s assets and liabilities.