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Gwen’s lawyer to DILG: What’s wrong with asking?

By: Rosalie Abatayo - CDN Digital | November 04,2019 - 09:32 PM

Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia | CDN Digital File Photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Is it wrong to ask why you failed seven Cebu localities in the road clearing assessment?

Lawyer Marino Martinquilla, Capitol’s consultant on legal matters, posted the question after Interior and Local Government Assistant Secretary RJ Echiverri has threatened to file charges against Governor Gwendolyn Garcia for questioning the agency’s decision to give failing marks to seven local government units (LGUs) who failed in their road clearing assessment held in October.

The seven LGUs are Carcar City and the municipalities of Compostela and Carmen in northern Cebu and Pinamungajan, Moalboal, Ginatilan, Badian in the island’s southwestern part.

But Garcia said in a news conference this afternoon, November 4, said she does not wish to engage in a verbal tussle with the national government agency.  Instead, she will leave it to Martinquilla to handle the legal matter.

On Sunday, Asec. Echiverri said that they may opt to review Garcia’s performance and see if the “low functionality” of the LGUs was a result of her non-performance of her duties as Cebu governor. If proven so, this could be grounds for the filing of a complaint for the dereliction of duty against the lady governor.

Read more: DILG exec warns Gwen of court action if she continues to ‘challenge’ DILG

Martinquilla said that “the governor is not afraid (of Echiverri’s threat) because she has not violated any law.”

He justified that Garcia was raising a valid question when she sought clarification of the criteria which DILG used in their rating process.

“Ang gobernador nangutana unsa man ang inyo kapasikaran or parameters sa paghimo sa rating. Sala ba diay ang mangutana? Ikahiubos ba diay ang mangutana,” Martinquilla said.

(The governor was just asking for the parameters which they used as basis in rating the seven LGUs. Is it wrong to ask? Should they feel offended if someone asks?)

Read more: Cebu governor says DILG should have helped towns to clear roads instead of merely assessing

Martinquilla said that there was nothing wrong with Garcia’s asking especially since the DILG rating caused confusion among the concerned LGUs.

He cited the experience of Cebu City as an example.

Undersecretaries Martin Diño and Epimaco Densing III both said in earlier interviews that Cebu City was highly compliant with their office’s road clearing order. However, the city only received a “medium compliant” rating from the agency in its final rating.

“So natural lang nga mangutana ang gobernador kay wa man gani magkadimao diri sa siyudad posible pod nga wala matarong sa probinsya. Nangutana lang ang gobernador unsa man inyong kapasikaran, unsa man inyong gibasehan?” Martinquilla added.

(It is understandable for the governor to ask what was their basis in the rating Cebu City because if there had been inconsistencies in the city’s rating, there could have also been inconsistencies in the ratings that the towns got. The governor was merely asking what they used as bases in their rating?) / dcb


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TAGS: Cebu City, DILG, Gwen Garcia, Martinquilla, road clearing

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