Hearing on city calamity aid case next week

Jean Marvette A. Demecillo/JMD (The Freeman) - September 3, 2015 - 10:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Another four-day hearing on the administrative complaint against Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella and 12 city councilors over the controversial P20,000 calamity assistance to employees is slated for next week.

In an August 20 letter from the Department of the Interior and Local Government-Manila, hearing officer Isidro Barrios III informed lawyer Reymelio Delute, the complainant, that the marathon hearing is scheduled on September 7 to 10.

“Be informed that the continuation of the formal investigation in the case you filed against Mayor Michael Rama, et al. has been scheduled on September 7 to 10, 2015 at 2 in the afternoon at the DILG regional office, Cebu City,” read the one-page letter of Barrios to Delute.

Last year, Delute sued Rama, Labella, and city councilors Nestor Archival Sr., Mary Ann de los Santos, David Tumulak, Nendell Hanz Abella, Sisinio Andales, Alvin Arcilla, Roberto Cabarrubias, Ma. Nida Cabrera, Gerardo Carillo, Alvin Dizon, Eugenio Gabuya Jr., and Noel Wenceslao for grave misconduct and abuse of authority.

Delute alleged that the city officials’ act of giving P20,000 each to 4,200 city officials and employees after super typhoon Yolanda and the magnitude 7.2 earthquake in Region-7 was questionable since the recipients were not direct victims.

Last July’s marathon hearing did not conclude the direct examination of Delute by his legal counsel, lawyer Benjamin Militar, as witness of the case.

“In the last hearing, napresintar ko as first witness. Ang akong testimony on direct examinination wala nahuman. Padayon ko og testify sa direct examination and subject for cross examination na pud ko,” Delute said in a text message.  He said he is also ready as lawyers of the city officials will cross examine him in the four-day hearing.

City lawyer Jerone Castillo, legal counsel of the city officials, said he has received the order of DILG last week.

Castillo said at least five lawyers of city officials will cross examine Delute.  Including Castillo, he named four other lawyers such as Jun Casas, Carl Vincent Sasuman, June Maratas, and Guiller Ceniza who will interrogate Delute.

“Wala pa man nakahuman og present sa direct examination ang pikas, so ipadayon to on Monday kay we have agreed man nga direct and cross examine ta,” Castillo.

He said lawyers will brainstorm and review the case in preparation for the marathon hearing.  (FREEMAN)

ACIRC ALVIN ARCILLA ALVIN DIZON BENJAMIN MILITAR CARL VINCENT SASUMAN CEBU CITY CEBU CITY MAYOR MICHAEL RAMA CITY DAVID TUMULAK DELUTE DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT-MANILA
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