The Court of Appeals (CA) yesterday set an oral argument on Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia’s petition for a temporary restraining order seeking to stop Malacañang’s suspension order against her.
The CA’s 12th Division decided to hear the opposing parties on Jan. 10 to determine whether to grant the Garcia’s petition.
Also, the CA ordered the respondents — Office of the President, Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Office of the Solicitor General — to file their respective comment on the petition filed by Garcia.
The “petition for certiorari” filed by Garcia was raffled off to the CA’s 12th Division composed of Associate Justices Vicente Veloso, Aurora Jane Lantion and Eduardo Peralta.
In its petition, the camp of Garcia argued the suspension order issued by the DILG against her was illegal because it did not comply with due process.
Garcia was suspended for six months without pay based on the complaint filed by the late Cebu Vice Gov. Greg Sanchez in 2010 accusing her of “usurpation of authority.”
Meanwhile, acting Gov. Agnes Magpale has asked the Bureau of Local Government Finance (BLGF) to examine the cash flow of the Cebu provincial government.
“We are requesting for a review of all cash transactions. We also want to know if the public funds, the taxpayers’ money were properly used in accordance with the law,” she said.
“It is not appropriate for Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia to say that I don’t understand the trust fund. I know for a fact that not all trust funds are available for any kind of expenses. There are trust funds that can be reclassified and there are those that cannot be reclassified. This is the reason I want BLGF to review all cash transactions for 2012,” she said.
Magpale took her oath as acting governor last Dec. 19 after the Office of the President suspended Garcia for six months for grave abuse of authority.
On orders of Magpale, Provincial Treasurer Roy Salubre issued a report in the province’s finances stating that the Capitol has P90 million in its general fund, not enough to settle payables amounting to P200 million.
The province has a total cash in bank of P387,451,403.14. Of that, the general fund is P90,418,576.87, the Special Education Fund is P61,603,877.96 and the trust fund is P235,428,948.31.
But the suspended governor defended the province’s financial condition, saying it is not bankrupt considering it has a total of over P387 million in cash in the bank and assets of over P28 billion.
Garcia has refused to leave her office at the capitol since her suspension on Dec. 19.
Magpale urged Garcia to respect the law and vacate the capitol pending the Court of Appeals’ decision on her plea for a TRO.
The acting governor, the Liberal Party’s candidate for vice governor, said she will step down once Garcia obtains a TRO. Gina P. Elorde and PNA