Rama opposes transfer of nepotism case

Elizabeth Marcelo - The Philippine Star
Rama opposes transfer of nepotism case
Mayor Michael Rama Mike Rama.
Michael Lopez Rama / Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines — Suspended Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama has opposed the transfer of the proceedings of his nepotism case to the Office of the Ombudsman in Quezon City from Cebu.

In a 10-page comment submitted to the Ombudsman-Visayas recently, Rama described the move as absurd and a violation of his right to due process.

“With the case now in full throttle, it would be absurd to make a last-minute change of venue,” Rama said in the comment.

He said he sees no reason other than political for the transfer, noting the case has been tried and heard at the Ombudsman-Visayas.

Rama said he is expecting the ombudsman to release the decision soon.

“The parties being from Cebu, the alleged act being done in Cebu, the facts being investigated in Cebu and the case having already been initiated and tried by the ombudsman based in Cebu. The case has every reason to remain at the Ombudsman-Visayas,” Rama said.

The case stemmed from a complaint filed by a certain Jonel Saceda alias “Inday Josa Chongbian Osmeña” in January 2023.

Saceda alleged that Rama illegally appointed his brothers-in-law, Elmer and Gomer Mandanat, as casual employees of the city hall and the Cebu City Medical Center, respectively, in 2022.

The complainant said Rama violated the Administrative Code and the Local Government Code, which prohibit public officials from appointing their relatives to any position in the government.

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