3-termer councilors seeking reelection
Jean Marvette A. Demecillo (The Freeman) - September 13, 2018 - 12:00am

Suspension “interrupted” their term

CEBU, Philippines — The supposed third-termer Cebu City Councilors Sisinio Andales and Alvin Arcilla will seek re-election next year after their terms were interrupted when they served the penalty of suspension by the Office of the President (OP) in 2016.

Andales, a lawyer by profession, said they can still run for the same position in the May 2019 elections because of the decision of the OP finding them guilty of grave abuse of authority over the controversial release of the P20,000 calamity aid to all City Hall employees.

“I’m banking on the decision sa DILG nga nasuspenso mi for six months pero gibutang didto is unexpired term. Na-serve namo is one month and 20 days kay ni assume mi after sa elections na. Klaro kaayo to nga ang decision was final,” he told reporters.

On May 17, 2016, officials of Department of Interior and Local Government-7 served the suspension order against 14 Cebu City officials, including then outgoing mayor Michael Rama, Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella and 12 City Councilors.

Andales and Arcilla are among the 12 City Councilors during that time that were suspended.

Last April 7, 2016, the OP found Rama, Labella, and then 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 over the controversial release of the P20,000 calamity aid to all City Hall employees.

When the suspension was implemented, the remaining City Officials in City Hall were Councilor Margarita Osmeña (acting mayor), Councilor Lea Japson (acting vice mayor), then Councilors Richard Osmeña, James Anthony Cuenco, and ex-officio member Phillip Zafra.

Instead of the six-month suspension, the suspension only lasted until June 30 since the decision from the OP stated that the suspension should not exceed the unexpired terms of the officials.

Andales said it was not a preventive suspension but it was a decision with finality which is an interruption of the term as provided in the Local Government Code.

Barely three weeks before the filing of certificate of candidacy, Andales said the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan has yet to complete its slate.

Mayor Tomas Osmeña previously announced that he will seek reelection next year but has not decided as to his running mate yet.

On the other hand, Barug Team Rama-PDP Laban already announced that Labella will run against the incumbent mayor while Rama will be running for vice mayor of the city.

The opposition group has yet to call for a press conference to reveal its slate before the filing of COC on October 1 to October 5. (FREEMAN)

ALVIN ARCILLA
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