Gwen­dolyn Gar­cia’s re­turn as Cebu gover­nor is pos­si­ble

The Freeman - - OPINION -

It has been al­ready three weeks al­ready since the clo­sure of fil­ing the Cer­tifi­cate of Can­di­da­cies for aspir­ing or in­cum­bent politi­cians who want to sit in a par­tic­u­lar elec­tive po­si­tion in the name of ren­der­ing so­called “pub­lic ser­vice” to the elec­torate. In our coun­try that is too de­pen­dent on some­one's pa­tron­ages, he has to run for cer­tain elec­tive po­si­tion just to ful­fill his prom­ises to pro­vide so­cial ser­vices that are be­yond to be given by the elders of elec­torates' fam­i­lies. Th­ese phe­nom­ena called pa­ter­nal­ism and del­ega­tive democ­racy are also the rea­sons why our com­mu­nity or our coun­try it­self can­not move for­ward, be­cause those in elec­tive po­si­tions or even in some plan­tilla po­si­tions in the civil ser­vices are gen­er­ally rel­a­tives and friends of cer­tain elected of­fi­cials in their re­spec­tive lo­cal­ity and th­ese phe­nom­ena have been sup­ported by the clamor of many to bring back for­mer Cebu Gover­nor and in­cum­bent Cebu Province Third District Rep­re­sen­ta­tive, Gwen­dolyn Gar­cia.

Many Cebu Province elec­torates have been clam­or­ing since the 2015 elec­tions to bring Gwen­dolyn Gar­cia back to the Capi­tol be­cause elec­torates feel that she has the po­lit­i­cal will to im­pose many nec­es­sary projects needed for the coun­try­side like farm-to-mar­ket roads or even her flag­ship tourism pro­gram, the Suroy Suroy Sugbo. The rea­son for this nos­tal­gia is the gov­ern­ing style of Gover­nor Hi­lario “Jun­jun” Da­vide III, who prefers to del­e­gate some of his ex­ec­u­tive tasks to his ad­vis­ers, which has had cre­ated the per­cep­tion that Cebu Province hasn't been run by an ex­ec­u­tive gover­nor for more than five years. Also, the per­sonal de­meanor of Da­vide doesn't help him sat­isfy the need of province elec­torates for a gover­nor that is strong or who has po­lit­i­cal will, be­cause he has been led into mis­guided ad­vice by his ad­vi­sors.

The prob­lem about bring­ing back Gwen­dolyn Gar­cia, how­ever, is that she has still a pend­ing dis­missal case be­fore the Om­buds­man. If dis­missed with fi­nal­ity, she would no longer be qual­i­fied to run for pub­lic of­fice. This dis­missal case has had some­thing to do with the Cebu Province's de­ci­sion to buy an un­der­wa­ter prop­erty of the Balili Fam­ily in the City of Naga through a res­o­lu­tion in the Pro­vin­cial Board. An­other bar­rier to her can­di­dacy is that her fam­ily's neme­sis in Du­man­jug, the Gi­cas, filed a dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion case against her be­fore the Com­elec as she filed the COC for the gover­nor of Cebu, say­ing that she hasn't been li­able for any case that car­ries the ac­ces­sory penalty of per­pet­ual dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion from hold­ing pub­lic of­fice that has be­come fi­nal and ex­ecu­tory in her COC.

Th­ese fol­low­ing bar­ri­ers to the can­di­dacy of Gar­cia are not hin­drances for her to re­turn to the Capi­tol be­cause it is quite too late to give fi­nal ver­dicts for th­ese fol­low­ing cases in this fast-ap­proach­ing elec­toral sea­son and it seems that the Duterte ad­min­is­tra­tion is quite sup­port­ive of her can­di­dacy over that of Agnes Mag­pale. Ma­jor­ity of may­ors, coun­cilors, or barangay cap­tains in Cebu Provinces are re­port­edly com­mit­ted al­ready to sup­port Gwen's come­back bid as gover­nor of Cebu.

Joseph So­lis Al­cayde

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