PRESIDENTIAL Spokesperson and Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) spokesperson Harry Roque clarified Monday, May 31, 2021, that no legal action against Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia is in the offing.
Roque issued the clarification following an earlier statement made by Garcia that Roque and Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra will be filing charges against the governor for her insistence on a policy contrary to IATF guidelines.
Read more: Guv ‘unfazed’ by plan to sue her, stands firm on double swabbing
"There is no truth to reports that I would be planning to take legal action against Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia over certain decisions made in relation to the Provincial Government's Covid-19 response. This is not within my scope of duties and responsibilities as Presidential Spokesperson and Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) spokesperson," Roque said.
He said he had already spoken with the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo Año.
According to Roque, Año clarified that there could be a possible discussion as regards this matter with the governor.
Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Secretary Michael Dino, in a separate interview, supported Roque's claim.
"I talked to the President (Rodrigo Duterte) himself with Senator Bong Go, Executive (Salvador) Medialdea was also there, there's no such thing, as they will file a case of insubordination against Governor Gwen Garcia. Wala na sa huna-huna ni Presidente," Dino said.
Both Dino and Garcia are in Manila to present to the President the arguments behind Cebu's swabbing policy.
Dino said he understands the governor's protocols and fully supports her stand on the matter.
"In fact, it's not just ako, the entire Cebu Island, tanang mayors, vice-mayors ug congressmen, we support Governor Gwen's protocols when it comes to OFWs and ROFs," Dino added.
Garcia, for her part, hopes that Duterte will understand the reasons behind Cebu's swabbing protocol.
"Lisod man gud kung ato lang tan-awon numero, ato sad kinahanglan tagaan og kinabuhi matag numero ug nasayod ta unsa'y ilang mga sugilanon," Garcia said.
The governor said she just learned that an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) from Nueva Ecija died while waiting to be released after the 10-day quarantine.
Garcia said the OFW was found dead Monday morning, May 31, and was found to have an existing medical condition.
"Mao man bitaw nga maayo gud unta nga mohatag gyud ta og pagsabot ning atong OFW ug returning Filipinos kay sama kanila, sama kanato duna sab ni sila pamilya, ug duna sab ni sila mga suliran sama nato. Kung mahimo unta di nato pun-an sa ilang mga giatubang karon sama sad nato, magsinabtanay lang ta ta unta," Garcia said.
Garcia and Dino are set to meet with Duterte Monday night, May 31, to explain her Executive Order 17, which is contrary to the IATF guidelines for OFWs and returning Filipinos (ROF).
Garcia's EO, which was adapted into an ordinance by the Cebu Provincial Board, requires a maximum of three days stay in a hotel, as against the Inter-Agency Task Force Against Emerging Infectious Diseases’ (IATF-EID) resolution that requires a 10-day quarantine in a hotel.
OFWS and ROFs will be swabbed upon arrival contrary to IATF-EID's policy on the seventh day.
Once tested negative, OFWs and ROFs who are Cebu residents will be allowed to go home and continue their home quarantine, where they will be swabbed on the seventh day.(MVG)