Byron confronted me: Habin

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

PROVINCIAL Administrator Eduardo Habin claimed that Byron Garcia, younger brother of suspended Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia and former Capitol consultant, raised his voice when the latter came to the administrator’s office last Monday.

This prompted Habin to transfer and hold office at the Capitol’s Legislative Building instead of reporting to his old office, which is just a few steps away from Gwendolyn’s office.

Byron, when sought for comment yesterday, pointed out he only wanted to ask Habin why the latter did not support his sister.


Habin, 72, is a coterminous employee and was appointed by Gwendolyn. He was also previously appointed by Gwendolyn’s father, former governor and now Deputy Speaker Pablo Garcia.

Last Dec. 19, the Department of Interior and Local Government served the six-month suspension of Governor Garcia, after the Office of the President found her guilty of grave abuse of authority. The order was signed last Dec. 17.

The DILG 7 posted a copy of the order at the Governor’s Office on Dec. 19.

On the same day, Vice Governor Agnes Magpale took her oath as the acting governor.

Habin said there was a memorandum from the DILG 7 appointing Magpale as acting governor. Habin said he was just following an order.

Habin described Byron as “nisingka (raised his voice)” when the latter arrived at his office at the Capitol main building.

Habin said he decided to transfer office at the Legislative Building in the afternoon of that same day. He got the approval to transfer office from Magpale.

Habin is currently holding office at the Special Executive Services Unit Office under the Office of the Vice Governor.

Habin said Magpale provided him with two escorts after he was confronted by Byron.

The provincial administrator, however, gave no further statements.


“I really wanted to ask him unsay iyang rason og nganung ingon ana iyang mga actuations, unya nganung wa siya mohatag og support sa akong sister. (What are his reasons and actuations, and why did he not support my sister),” Byron said.

For delicadeza, Byron said Habin should have told Gwendolyn that he would resign and wanted to be appointed by the acting governor.

“I was there kong gi-unsa siya pag-agak ni Daddy ug kung gi-unsa siya pag-agak ni Gwen pud bisag retired na siya kay matud pa niya daghan pa kuno siya’g utang (how Daddy and Gwen accepted him even if he should have retired because according to him he still has debts),” Byron said in an interview.

Loud voice

“Nakakita bitaw mo unsa ko manulti. Dako man gyud ko’g tingog kay dakong taw ko.Basin tingali ingani nga klasi nga tingog iyang nadunggan nako sakit na na para niya (You’ve heard me how I speak. My voice is loud),” Byron said.

Byron also answered Cebu City South District Rep. Tomas Osmeña on why the former Capitol consultant came into the scene.

Byron reminded Osmeña that he is the favorite brother of Gwendolyn and that it is but proper for him to come to help his sister.


Meanwhile, for Mayor Nelson Garcia of Dumanjug town, Cebu, it is inappropriate to push through with the Suroy-Suroy Sugbo while Governor Garcia is grieving.

Gwendolyn questioned her suspension order and asked for a temporary restraining order before the Court of Appeals, which is up for oral argument today.

Nelson was reacting to the announcement of Acting Gov. Magpale last Tuesday that the three-day Suroy-Suroy Sugbo, the Capitol’s tourism campaign to promote Cebu, will start on Jan. 23.

Nelson said even if tourism officers attended the meeting presided by by Magpale, it is still up to the town mayors to join Suroy-Suroy or not.

So far, only the towns of San Fernando and Samboan agreed to join the tour, while Argao has yet to confirm its participation. (With Rachel Anne M. Umpad, USJ-R Mass Comm Intern)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 10, 2013.

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