Cebu News

Six-Month suspension: CA dismisses Mike’s appeal

Iris Hazel Mascardo - The Freeman
Six-Month suspension: CA dismisses Mike�s appeal
Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama

CEBU, Philippines — The Court of Appeals has dismissed the petition filed by Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama and seven other officials of City Hall who are currently serving a six-month preventive suspension.

“The court resolves to dismiss the Petition (with prayer for issuance of injunctive relief),” read the May 17 decision, a copy of which was obtained by the media yesterday.

The decision stated that the mayor should have first filed a motion for reconsideration of the May 2, 2024 Ombudsman order imposing the preventive suspension before filing the petition for certiorari.

“A motion for reconsideration is a condition precedent to the filing of a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, as amended,” the CA said.

“Although, the Court has recognized exceptions to the requirement, petitioner failed to allege meritorious grounds in the petition why it was not availed of before filing the instant petition,” it added.

It likewise said the mayor failed to include the original transaction receipts from the private courier, “as proof of mailing of the petition” and that copy of the Ombudsman order attached to the petition was just a photo copy.

Sought for his reaction, Rama refused to comment, telling The Freeman that he is yet to receive a copy of the dismissal.

He instead lamented why he was not informed first of the dismissal before it became public.

Rama’s suspension, along with City Administrator Collin Rosell, Rosell’s wife and City Assessor Theresa Rosell, and five others, stemmed from the complaint filed by four City Hall employees who were reassigned from the City Assessor’s Office to different offices and were not paid of their salaries for 10 months.

In its 10-page resolution, the Office of the Ombudsman said it found sufficient grounds to put the mayor and the seven other officials under preventive suspension for grave misconduct, conduct unbecoming of public officer, conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, grave abuse of authority (oppression), and violation of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees (administrative case).

Last Monday, Acting Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia announced that the four employees already got their full pay and that their reassignment order was revoked, paving the way for them to start working again at the City Assessor’s Office. — /RHM (FREEMAN)

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