Palace: No need to rush next move in Cebu standoff

Posted at 12/26/12 3:45 PM

MANILA, Philippines – Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the government will let the New Year pass before any further action is taken in connection with the standoff in Cebu.

Lacierda did not elaborate as to what he meant by "further action.” He only wished both suspended Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia and Vice Governor Agnes Magpale a merry Christmas.

Malacanang, meanwhile, assured coalition partners amid their parties figuring in legal cases in Pangasinan and Cebu.

Lacierda pointed out that the cases of Pangasinan Governor Amado Espino and Garcia arose from specific cases and do not, in anyway, show an attempt to diminish the role of coalition partners.

Espino was slapped with criminal cases for alleged involvement in jueteng, while Garcia was ordered suspended by the Office of the President for an administrative case.

Garcia is chair of the One Cebu Party and a member of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA). Espino is a member of the Nationalist People's Coalition, which has partnered with Liberal Party (LP).

Garcia's case has led to a standoff at the provincial capitol since the governor refused to leave office literally despite the assumption of her vice governor as officer in charge of the provincial capitol.

Lacierda maintained Magpale has already taken control of the business of governance since all legal orders and approvals for expenditures are now subject to her approval.

UNA blasts LP's power trip

UNA today strongly criticized alleged violations of the law and the abuse of power by the LP in Cebu.

UNA Secretary General Toby Tiangco said the LP has committed "glaring violations of the law and clear abuse of power" in attempting to enforce the suspension order on Garcia and install Magpale, who is a member of the ruling party led by DILG Secretary Mar Roxas.

"The LP-affiliated Vice Governor closed down two media outlets on flimsy grounds. The police erected barricades and deployed hundreds of armalite-wielding policemen to the capitol. Supporters of the Governor and even employees were prevented from entering the grounds. They were not even allowed to bring in food that they have prepared," Tiangco said.

Tinagco added: "As Vice President Binay himself pointed out, there is no need to arm the policemen with armalite rifles since it was a peaceful assembly.”

UNA earlier said the LP had converted the provincial capitol into a garrison.

Tiangco added that Vice President Jejomar Binay, former President Joseph Estrada and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile visited Garcia to show their support.