Palace tells Osmeña: Answer complaints

Odessa O. Leyson (The Freeman) - April 10, 2017 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The Office of the President of the Philippines has directed Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña to answer another six administrative complaints against him filed by Apas Barangay Captain Ramil Ayuman last February 14.

Ayuman, affiliated with Team Rama Panaghiusa, accused Osmeña and Councilor Margarita “Margot” Osmeña of grave misconduct, abuse of authority, culpable violation of the Constitution, and violation of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees over the reopening of the controversial Inayawan landfill.

The other two administrative complaints are grave misconduct and serious dishonesty for allegedly owning the two units of Dodge Charger vehicles donated by Bigfoot Global Solutions to the city government.

“Mayor Tomas Osmeña and Councilor Margarita Osmeña of Cebu City are hereby directed to submit, within fifteen (15) days from receipt hereof, their respective verified Answers (not a Motion to Dismiss) to the attached Complaint Affidavit dated 14 February 2017 of Ramil Ayuman…,” reads the order dated March 9, signed by Ryan Alvin Acosta, Acting Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs.

Osmeña received the order from Malacañang last week.

The same citation order was stipulated over the dodge charger complaint.

In an interview yesterday, Osmeña vowed to answer the complaints filed against him before the Office of the President.

He then reiterated his speculation that there’s someone influential behind Ayuman's move against him, adding that Team Rama’s hidden agenda was to get him suspend so that Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella will take over his post as mayor.

“You know, nahurot gyud ang ilahang mga issues. They’re just desperate to put Labella there to ratify the issue on SM,” Osmeña said.

However, Ayuman in a separate interview denied Osmeña's accusation.

“Ang pagfile nako sa case has nothing to do with sa Team Rama…besides amo ra gibalik ang iyang gihimo sa mga kapitan nga gipang-bully ug gikiha. Ang pagfile nako sa kaso para sa tanan nga kapitan nga gibugal-bugalan ni Tom-Bully (Osmeña) pagbutang og BMO (Barangay Mayor’s Office),” he told The FREEMAN.

Regarding the case of Dodge Charger vehicles, Osmeña said Ayuman just rehashed the case knowing that it was lodged first before the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas and the said court had already dismissed it.

Regarding the landfill reopening, Osmeña said, "The landfill was never closed, he (former mayor Michael Rama) abandoned it, he stops using it, and they were making money. We spend hundreds of thousand, millions of pesos every month. Why spend so much money? So let’s reopen our landfill and put it there until we can find arrangement.”

To recall, the Inayawan landfill was closed on January 15, 2015 but was reopened June 28 last year with a go signal from Environmental Management Bureau Region 7.

Osmeña also alleged that the Team Rama officials want the city government to transact with the private-owned landfill in Consolacion, however, the Commission on Audit had earlier issued a notice of disallowance considering that there was no contract signed by the previous administration and the service provider.

“That’s why they (Team Rama) are very unhappy because that is an illegal transaction, they’re pushing us to the direction to go back to Consolacion. They are going to jail for all of that. If we’re going back to Consolacion, I‘ll go to jail with them because COA had already ruled against it, there’s no contract,” Osmeña said.

Meanwhile, Ayuman was happy with the prompt response from Malacañaang on the complaints he lodged.

“It’s for the president to look into and I am happy nga paspas ang response sa Office of the President. When I filed the case February 14 unya March 9 gipirmahan dayon sa Malacañang nga patubagon si Osmeña to reply,” he said.

As of press time, Osmeña is facing eight administrative cases seeking his suspension, all filed by Team Rama affiliated officials.

Aside from the landfill and Dodge Charger related complaints, among the charges against Osmeña involve the alleged illegal operation of vans-for-hire in Barangay Kamagayan and the alleged illegal appointment of two acting mayors when Osmeña went on vacation leave.

Other charges are allegedly enticing policemen with cash rewards to kill people involved in illegal drugs; designating councilors allied with him as deputy mayors; designating his wife, Councilor Margot Osmeña, as deputy mayor, which is considered nepotism; and ordering that the flag ceremony at City Hall be held only once a month when it should be held daily. —/JBB (FREEMAN)

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