Although her last State of the Province Address was spoiled by the filing of graft cases, Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia found comfort in the company of new allies in the United National Alliance (UNA).
UNA bigwigs led by Vice President Jejomar Binay, former president Joseph Estrada and Senate Persident Juan Ponce Enrile showed up to give their support.
“If a case is filed against you, it doesn't mean that you are guilty. There is always presumption of innocence,” Binay said.
“We have no reason not to support her.”
Senate President Enrile, told Cebu Daily News that while the party is giving the governor their support, the cases are a cause of concern.
“Naturally any member of our ticket who is involved in a case will be a concern for the coalition and whatever assistance we can extend to that member, we will do without transgressing the ethics of our profession, the ethics of our judicial system,” he said.
“We will lend all our skills that we can muster to help each member of our group. Afterall any person charged with an offense is presumed innocence in his or her favor,” Enrile said.
Like the governor, Enrile wondered why charges were filed a day before her last SOPA.
“The only thing that comes to my mind is : why now? Why not yesterday, why not tomorrow? I am not talking about irregularity, I am stating a fact. Why today? But assuming good faith on the issue, a case is a case, it is a charge. She is still innocent and let the government prove the case,” Enrile told CDN.
Former senator Maceda, who is trying to make a comeback in the Senate through UNA wondered: “Why now? This is political harassment.”
JV Ejercito, another senatorial candidate of UNA said, “It is possibly one of the conditions imposed by the Duranos during their signing of an alliance with the Liberal Party.”
It was Ejercito who first broached the idea of a super coalition between UNA and the administration Liberal Party in the 2013 election.
He was quoted as saying that UNA is committed to support the policies of the administration of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III.
The Garcia family-led One Cebu Party had a falling out with the Durano clan’s Barug Alang sa Kauswagan ug Demokrasya (Bakud) after Barug chose to field Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale as the running mate of LP's gubernatorial bet Hilario “Junjun” Davide III in 2013.
President Aquino attended the 64th birthday of Bakud leader Ramon “Nito” Durano, Danao City vice mayor last July 7 to seal the Bakud-LP alliance.
One Cebu was also courting Magpale to be the running mate of their gubernatorial bet, 3rd district Rep. Pablo John Garcia. Magpale chose to team up with Davide. /Carmel Loise Matus, Marian Z. Codilla, Rhea Ruth V. Rosell, Chito A. Aragon and Sean Timothy Salvador