Bataan Governor breaks silence on cousin’s controversy

BATAAN CAPITOL – Bataan Governor Albert Raymond “Abet” S. Garcia on Monday morning has broken his silence on an issue that went viral on social media pertaining to his cousin-Julius Garcia’s unpaid debts.

“Never po namin itong kinukunsinti, ng kanyang pamilya, ng aming pamilya. Kung meron man pong mga legal na aksyon, hindi po namin pinipigilan,” Gov. Garcia told Capitol officials and employees during his speech after the traditional Monday flag raising ceremonies at the Bataan People Center here.

Garcia was reacting to TV and radio broadcaster, Erwin Tulfo’s remarks in two videos distributed to local journalists and residents of the province.

The broadcaster lambasted Julius Garcia and his relatives in the Garcia clan especially those in major political positions of this province for the alleged inaction on the complainants plea to help them solve their problems with Julius.

Julius is the younger brother of Bataan Vice Governor Cris Garcia.

The Governor vehemently denied the accusation.

“Kahit saang pamilya naman po may black sheep. Hindi po ninyo alam kung ilang beses na pong dinisiplina si Julius. Narehab na po siya, na custody na ng pulis. Pero hindi pa rin po natuto. Iniisip pa rin po namin kung paano masosolusyonan itong problema namin kay Julius. Sana po naintindihan po ninyo ang sitwasyon,” Garcia lamented.

The controversial video also tackled it as allegedly one of the negative effects of having a political dynasty that rules a province.

Dynasty is having one family or clan occupying various key positions in politics such as congressmen, governors, mayors etc.

Garcia, in response to the allegation on the angle of a political dynasty ruling a province, said that they are better be judged based on the results of performance of the ruling family citing the recent article published in the Philippine Daily Inquirer wherein the 15 poorest provinces in the country were controlled by “fat dynasties.”

In the case of Bataan, Garcia said the recent report from the Philippine Statistics Authority cited Bataan as 2nd least poor province in the country.

The PSA report provides the estimates of poverty incidence using income data from the first and second visit of the Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES) conducted in July, 2015 and January, 2016, respectively.

Poverty incidence among Filipinos, which is the proportion of people below the poverty line to the total population in 2015 was estimated at 21.6 percent.

During a 2016 report published on ABS CBN, Bataan got 10.9%.

“Sana dun sa inilabas na report, na feature din yung top 15 richest provinces. Yung mga namumuno din po doon sa richest provinces mga political dynasties din po,” the Governor said.