City officials seek for response on appeal for case dismissal

(The Freeman) - October 11, 2014 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - While the Department of Interior and Local Government has summoned Cebu City officials regarding an administrative case filed against them, they wanted a response first from the Office of the President on the appeal they filed two months ago.

Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella, one of the respondents of the complaint filed by lawyer Reymelio Delute against the city officials, said the omnibus motion to dismiss the administrative case filed before the Office of the President on August 1 should be resolved first before a marathon hearing will be conducted.

Delute filed an administrative case on April 24 for grave misconduct and abuse of authority against Mayor Michael Rama, Labella and 12 councilors, namely:  Nestor Archival Sr., Mary Ann delos Santos, David Tumulak, Nendell Hanz Abella, Sisinio Andales, Alvin Arcilla, Roberto Cabarrubias, Ma. Nida Cabrera, Gerardo Carillo, Alvin Dizon, Eugenio Gabuya Jr., and Noel Eleuterio Wenceslao for the alleged illegal appropriation of funds for calamity assistance to 4,200 city hall officials and employees.

“We have not received any reply or resolution as of this date. Our position is, the pending motion should be answered or be ruled first, either deny or approve it,” Labella said.

The DILG summoned the city officials for a marathon hearing on October 14 to 16 to be held at its regional office in Barangay Lahug to answer the complaint.

Labella said while they will heed DILG’s summon and will attend the hearing along with their counsel, City Legal Officer Jerone Castillo, he is hoping that a panel of department investigators would look into the complaint “meticulously.”

“I am positive and optimistic of the case. I just hope that the investigation body would really look into the matter meticulously and justly,” he said.

Labella stood firm that the complaint has no “valid cause of action” since the distribution of P20,000 calamity assistance to city officials and employees is supported by Cebu City Ordinance No. 2379 which was unanimously passed by the members of the City Council last Dec. 19, 2013.

He contended that the Department of Budget and Management “upheld entirety” the validity of the resolution.

“The allegation in the complaint miserably failed to show and establish a prima facie case of grave misconduct and abuse of authority (on the part of the respondents). Simply stated, the complaint-affidavit is grossly insufficient in substance and form, warranting the outright dismissal of the instant administrative cases,” Labella cited part of their motion.

He claimed that the complaint is a “collateral attack” on the validity of the approved resolution, which he said is not allowed.

“He (Delute) should know that the resolution is not invalid, null or void. Thereby, his accuses have no cause of action,” he said.

“The allegations are mere misguided opinions and baseless conclusions of complainant which do not amount to evidence and could never substitute for the full and convincing evidence that is required by the law or the rules to prove it,” he added.— Kristine B. Quintas/ATO (FREEMAN)

 

ALVIN ARCILLA ALVIN DIZON BARANGAY LAHUG CEBU CITY CEBU CITY ORDINANCE NO CITY CITY COUNCIL CITY LEGAL OFFICER JERONE CASTILLO COMPLAINT OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT
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