Manila – The much awaited temporary restraining order (TRO) from the Court of Appeals (CA) of embattled Governor Gwendolyn Garcia has not been issued after the oral arguments for the TRO of the governor’s suspension ended. The three-man panel headed by CA Associate Justice Vicente Veloso advised Cebu’s first ever woman governor not to make noise and just wait for the CA Sixth Division’s decision. The case has now been submitted for resolution. The camp of the Governor Garcia led by Atty. Tranquil Salvador III hopes that a decision will be made in 3 to 4 days.
During the oral arguments, Justice Veloso said the government would suffer a greater “irreparable injury” if the TRO is granted as the 6 month suspension ordered by the President will be reduced to 4 months if a 60-day TRO would be granted. Veloso argued that a decision granting a TRO could encroach on the disciplinary power of President of the Republic of the Philippines. Salvador countered that granting petition will allow the last-term governor an additional period to serve her constituents as she had been voted as governor of the province for three successive terms.
Salvador argued that the suspension of the governor for her alleged grave abuse of authority has been resoved after 474 days which is way beyond the prescribed 120-day limit provided under the Local Government Code and Administrative Order 23 of the Office of the President. A representative from the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) cited the Supreme Court ruling in Marcelino vs Cruz to counter the argument.
The CA 6th Division which is composed of Veloso along with members Associate Justices Aurora Jane Lantion and Eduardo Peralta will now weigh the arguments of both sides to render a decision that will somehow give clarity to the saga in the Cebu Provincial Capitol. Governor Garcia is holed in her office since last month as she cried political harassment with the timing of her suspension. Acting Governor Agnes Magpale is now handling the affairs of the Province of Cebu.
According to the daughter of the governor, Atty. Christina Frasco, their camp will exhaust all legal remedies to give her mother a reprieve. The Garcia camp could even go to the Supreme Court if they fail to get a favorable decision from the CA. Atty Frasco was quoted by Sunstar saying “We’re very happy that we were given the opportunity to ventilate the merits as well as urgency for need for the issuance of a TRO. We will exhaust all our legal remedies. Certainly the road does not end here. We remain hopeful.”
caloycomment: At least the case is now in the courts. The campaign period is about start and the suspended Governor should get out of the Capitol and campaign as she aspiring to be a congresswoman. She should go now and try to woo the people of the 3rd district of Cebu. The longer she locks herself at her office at the Provincial Capitol, the bigger the chance that her political opponent can score an unlikely upset in the 2013 elections. It would be difficult to campaign in absentia especially when it is a self-imposed “imprisonment”.
- CA not inclined to stop Gwen Garcia suspension (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- No TRO for Garcia, says De Lima (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Justice: Garcia TRO can cause ‘irreparable damage’ on govt (rappler.com)
- CA sets oral argument on Garcia’s petition for TRO (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Gwen’s lawyers ready for oral arguments (rappler.com)
- Cebu siege: Political fallout on Aquino (opinion.inquirer.net)
- Cebu Gov. Garcia’s suspension (opinion.inquirer.net)