Gwen defends Soriano, hits Danao for accusing relieved director of ‘politicizing’

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram - CDN Digital Multi-Media Reporter | June 15,2022 - 07:57 PM
Gwen Garcia

Cebu Gov. Gwen Garcia

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia came to the defense of former Cebu province police director, Col. Engelbert Soriano, days after the latter was relieved in what she hinted was a result of ‘politicizing’.

During a press conference on Wednesday, June 15, Garcia slammed the officer-in-charge of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr., for accusing Soriano of ‘being a sucker of the Capitol’.

Quoting Danao’s comments published on national media, Garcia did not mince words in hitting Danao for his statements on Soriano.

Soriano openly expressed his support for the governor’s controversial order involving face masks.

The move, which lifts the mandatory wearing of face masks in open spaces, is the center of the ongoing clash between Garcia and several national government agencies, including the PNP.

“I do know that there is politicking even within the PNP itself. But I would not go as so far as castigating someone involved. You know, and this is addressed to Lt. Gen. Danao, when you accuse someone publicly and a fellow officer at that, that does not speak well of your character,” Garcia said.

“I had already decided to let it be. To let the issue pass, let sleeping dogs lie and I would no longer add to the controversy. But then I had not counted on the very ungentlemanly castigation of Col. Engelbert Soriano,” she added.

Garcia also vouched for Soriano’s character by claiming that the former police provincial director did not engage in politics during the recent 2022 National and Local Elections.

“I have been trying to find out… trying again and again, what violent crime and what violent infraction did Col. Soriano commit? Except that he took a stand. Recognizing my EO… That was a very safe statement – a sane and logical statement,” she said.

Danao reportedly accused Soriano of playing politics following his public statement that ran contrary to the PNP and the Department of Interior and Local Government’s (DILG) orders to arrest individuals not complying with the government’s mandatory wearing of face masks policy.

Soriano was relieved from his post last June 12, a day after he made his stance.

The PNP, in a separate release, said Soriano’s departure from CPPO was in line with ‘career advancement’ and that his tenure there has already lapsed.

The Capitol will be keeping its policy of making face masks an option, and no longer a requirement, for well-ventilated areas despite mounting pressure from the national government. /rcg

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TAGS: Cebu‬, Cebu Daily News, cebu news, Cebu Provincial Police Office, Col. Engelbert Soriano, COVID-19, CPPO, DILG, EO No. 16, face mask, face mask ordinance, Governor Gwen Garcia, Gwen, Gwen Garcia, Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr., PNP

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