Binay, Enrile go to Cebu to support Garcia
MANILA, Philippines – Vice-President Jejomar Binay and Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile have both left for Cebu in order to give their support for suspended Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia.
Binay and Enrile left on a chartered plane from the General Aviation area of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport early Sunday morning.
It is unsure if former President Joseph Estrada will be joining Binay and Enrile in Cebu.
Garcia, Binay and Enrile are all members of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA). The two high-ranking officials are expected to go straight to the provincial capitol, where Garcia has been holed up for five days now.
UNA has said Garcia's suspension is a political move made to put Vice Governor Agnes Magpale in power. Magpale is an ally of President Benigno Aquino III.
Malacañang and the Liberal Party (LP) have both denied this accusation.
Garcia was suspended by Aquino for alleged grave abuse of authority. She was charged in 2010 by then Vice-Governor Gregorio Sanchez Jr. for withholding budget for his office.
Garcia has filed a petition for a temporary restraining order before the Court of Appeals, seeking to stop the six-month suspension order.
The governor has lamented the timing of the suspension order.
"Clearly, ginawa talaga ito at the time na Christmas season. Walang regular hours ngayon, maraming naka bakasyon. More so, ang lapit-lapit na ng election, ginawa pang six months suspension," Garcia said.
Garcia is running for a seat in the House of Representatives in 2013.
"Napaka-harsh ng sentensya for an alleged offense. It’s tantamount to removal from office," she said.
Garcia has indicated that she is willing to spend Christmas at the capitol building. Reports from DZMM; Dharel Placido, ABS-CBNnews.com.