Gwen on latest rift with Año: It’s not ‘bad blood’
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Amid their recent clash over Cebu province’s policy on the optional wearing of face masks in outdoor and well-ventilated areas, Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia said there is no “bad blood” between her and Interior and Local Government Sec. Eduardo Año.
“I wouldn’t call that bad blood because bad blood can be infectious,” said Garcia.
In a recent press conference, the Capitol remained undeterred in keeping its policy on the optional wearing of face masks in open spaces amid a three-day ultimatum from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
Garcia even took a swipe against Año, and told him to “just let it go” as he is about to leave his post as the secretary of the DILG in a matter of days.
“It’s just very trivial midst of all the other serious problems we’re currently facing,” said Garcia.
“It’s time to refocus, that we must give time to the real problems that we are facing economic problems, peace and order because when the economy is bad people will resort to crime when they can no longer feed their families,” she added.
This is not the first conflict between Año and Garcia over Cebu’s policies that either deviate from or contradict those implemented by the national government.
It can be recalled that the governor and the Interior Secretary also clashed over Cebu’s swab-upon-arrival policy for foreign travelers in 2021, and not requiring plastic barriers as anti-COVID measures for riding motorcycles in 2020.
The DILG also threatened Garcia with facing possible suspension over her decision to ban the entry of live pigs, meat and other pork products from African Swine Fever (ASF)-afflicted areas.
Garcia recounted all of these during her press conference on Friday, June 17, but assured the public that she does not hold a personal grudge against Año.
“Walang personalan to. I am just acting according to my mandate and I am deciding in accordance with my huge responsibility to the millions of Cebuanos who have entrusted to me their welfare and their benefit,” she added.
The Capitol has yet to receive any official communication from the DILG regarding the ultimatum they announced.
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