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Ombuds: Enough basis found against Rama

Jean Marvette A. Demecillo (The Freeman) - August 4, 2016 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The Office of the Ombudsman (Visayas) has found "enough basis" to investigate the criminal complaint a lawyer filed against former Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama over the release of P20,000 calamity aid to City Hall employees in 2013.

In a June 27 order, Ombudsman investigator Jane Aguilar ordered Rama to answer the allegations of Atty. Reymelio Delute formally 10 days from receipt of the order. 

"Finding enough basis to proceed with the criminal investigation of the aforementioned case, above-named respondent (Rama) is hereby ordered to file his counter-affidavit and other controverting evidence to the complaint filed," Aguilar's order reads.

"Motion to dismiss or bill of particulars, and dilatory motions including, but not limited to, motions for extension of time, second motions for reconsideration and/or re-investigation are prohibited pleadings and shall be stricken off the records of the case," the order reads further.

Delute alleged that Rama committed malversation of public funds or property or illegal use of public funds or property under Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Rama confirmed receiving the order last Monday.

"It's now being handled by my lawyers," he told The Freeman.

Rama said the complaint stemmed from the main discussion on the administrative complaint filed against him and 13 other City Hall officials on the same issue.

It was also Delute who sued the city officials for releasing the aid to the city's 4,200 regular and casual employees after the 7.2-magnitude quake and typhoon Yolanda in 2013.

Rama and other officials have served the suspension imposed by the Office of the President for the administrative aspect of the complaint.

The criminal aspect, Rama said, is a "rehash."

"In effect, I consider it as a rehash but it means it should be all of us (city officials). Why only me?" Rama said.

Earlier this year, the Office of the President found 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 Eleuterio Wenceslao guilty of grave abuse of authority. (FREEMAN)

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