Café closure: Rama seeks dismissal of criminal, admin raps
May B. Miasco/FPL (The Freeman) - February 13, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama has asked the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas to dismiss the criminal and administrative charges filed against him by a businessman whose establishment was shut down by the mayor.

Rama also opposed Adrian Lee’s motion asking the anti-graft body to place him under preventive suspension while the cases are being investigated.

The mayor said Lee has not presented any evidence to prove his accusations and that his continued stay in office will not prejudice the fair and independent investigation of the Ombudsman.

“Considering that there is no truth and no evidence against me in the allegations for grave misconduct, gross neglect of duty, and serious dishonesty, and considering further that there is no probability whatsoever that my continuance in office could influence the witnesses or pose a threat to the safety and integrity of the records and other evidence, I respectfully and strongly pray that the complainant’s motion for preventive suspension be denied,” read Rama’s counter-affidavit.

Lee earlier charged Rama for violation of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and grave misconduct, gross neglect of duty, and serious dishonesty.

The cases stemmed from the closure order issued by Rama on June 30, 2015 against a commercial establishment owned by Lee for allegedly not complying with the city requirements and violations of the existing national policies.

Lee owned the two-storey Camia Street Cafe and Restaurant in Capitol Site, which was closed on July 9, 2015. The establishment allegedly violated the National Building Code and had been operating with an expired business permit.

Lee first brought the issue before the Regional Trail Court by filing a civil case. However, the court dismissed the case for lack of merit and forum shopping.

Aside from the Office of the Ombudsman, Lee has filed several cases against Rama and other city officials in relation to the closure order which are still pending before RTC Branch 23, Office of the DPWH Secretary, and Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office. (FREEMAN)

 

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