The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) on Friday slammed the filing of a graft case and the impending issuance of preventive suspension against Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, calling the moves political harassment.
The coalition also noted a pattern of harassment of local officials sympathetic to UNA by government officials “more loyal to their party than their offices.”
“The cruel and conspicuous timing of the filing of the graft case and the impending suspension of Governor Garcia appears to be more political harassment than a genuine desire to rid the government of scalawags,” said UNA spokesperson Atty. JV Bautista in a statement.
Bautista pointed out that the news of Garcia’s suspension only surfaced when she was declared an official senatorial candidate of the coalition.
“[Governor Garcia] faces an impending suspension from office only after she was announced as an official candidate of UNA for senator and less than a year from the May 2013 elections,” he said.
“Governor Auring Cerilles of Zamboanga, whose sympathies are with UNA, is also reportedly another target of harassment. Local executives are being threatened if they refuse to join the ruling party. The on-going rigodon of police, fire, and prison officials, who are not aligned with their political supporters, shows that the dirty tricks being played are not confined to the elected officials,” Bautista added.
UNA urged the administration to shun acts of political harassment and persecution or risk losing “the moral high ground from where it claims to draw popular support.”
“Electoral contests must be fought with dignity and high principles, not with harassment and dirty tricks,” Bautista said.
He called for the immediate cessation of political harassment against Garcia and other UNA supporters.
“The road to clean elections in 2013 must start now,” Bautista concluded.#