Councilor Osmeña made a motion to refer it to Ombudsman heeding to the suggestion of Labella. Her motion was seconded by Councilor Raymond Alvin Garcia.
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Mambaling feud referred to Ombudsman
Odessa O. Leyson (The Freeman) - June 17, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The Cebu City Council has referred to the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas the complaint for dereliction of duty filed by acting Mambaling chairwoman Anne Marie Vestil Palomo against four barangay officials who have not been attending sessions.

During the regular session last June 11, the council members agreed with the suggestion of Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella, the council presiding officer, to let the Ombudsman handle the matter for appropriate action.

“I think the administrative complaints against the barangay officials, the Office of the Ombudsman and Sangguniang Panlungsod have concurrent jurisdiction. The chair suggested to refer it to the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas to take appropriate action,” Labella told members of the council.

Labella made the suggestion after Councilor Margarita Osmeña asked the opinion of the other members on what was the right thing to do since they only had one session left before a new set of members assume.

Before Labella raised the suggestion, Councilor Jocelyn Pesquera said the complaint should be referred to the Department of the Interior of Local Government (DILG) for legal opinion to find out whether or not the four barangay councilors are liable for dereliction of duty.

“I believe, it’s better to have this referred together with the first item, to refer it to the DILG because maybe these barangay officials are in quandary where to attend the session, the one called by the elected barangay chairman or the one called by the so-called acting chairwoman,” she said.

Named respondents of the administrative case are Wilfredo Go, Owen Atillo, Roseller Salvador and Sangguniang Kabataan chairwoman Sharmaine Maloloy-on.

However, Councilor Osmeña made a motion to refer it to Ombudsman heeding to the suggestion of Labella. Her motion was seconded by Councilor Raymond Alvin Garcia.

Since January, Palomo has been acting as barangay captain following the suspension of Gines Abellana for allegedly not releasing the honoraria of Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan barangay councilors.

Since then, four councilors identified to be allied with Abellana has not reportedly been attending sessions.

This led Palomo to lodge the complaint before the City Council, received by the Office of the Secretariat on June 6.

In the complaint, Palomo detailed that the respondents were reportedly absent in 12 regular and special sessions: January 14, January 18, February 4, February 11, March 4, March 11, April 1, April 8, May 6, May 14, May 30, and June 3, 2019.

Palomo cited Section 60 of Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991, which provides disciplinary actions against erring elective officials.

Palomo also cited Article 124 of LGC which states that officials who are absent in office for 15 consecutive working days may face suspension or removal from post.

The City Council also submitted the letter of Abellana informing the august body that the Office of the President has already acknowledged that his suspension "stays" for the reason of his timely appeal.

Sought for comment, Palomo said was already aware that the case would be referred to Ombudsman because the council will have its last session on Tuesday.

“And a new set of SP members are coming in pa in July so they cannot assign yet a Committee of Three for now,” she added.

The FREEMAN tried but failed to get the comments of other involved individuals as of this writing. (FREEMAN)

ANNE MARIE VESTIL PALOMO
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