Mayor’s setback: Court upholds new treasurerBy Ador Vincent Mayol
Cebu Daily News
By Monday, City Hall will have a new treasurer who is not the mayor’s choice.
A Cebu City judge yesterday said he found no legal impediment for assistant city treasurer Emma Villarete to serve the position.
Regional Trial Court Judge Douglas Marigomen of Branch 5, in open court, withdrew the temporary restraining order (TRO) he earlier issued stopping Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima from replacing city treasurer Ofelia Oliva.
The judge also denied the petition for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction sought by Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama.
“The court knows that Villarete is one of the nominees of the mayor for the position of treasurer. The Department of Finance appointed her. Let the mayor withdraw the nomination of Villarete. As of now, Villarete is one of the nominees. What can you do?” the judge said.
The 20-day TRO earlier issued by the court is set to expire on Monday.
“The court withdraws its earlier TRO unless and until the Secretary of Finance violate the law in appointing somneone not among the nominees,” Marigomen said.
Cebu City Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young told reporters he was “very happy” that “the judge has realized the situation.”
Young and the City Council asked the court to dismiss a petition for declaratory relief filed by Mayor Rama’s administration questioning the appointment of Camarillo as treasurer by the Finance Secretary.
Cebu City lawyer Leslie Ann Reyes said the mayor can submit three new nominees.
“The Local Government Code states that the mayor should appoint the treasurer whom he has full trust and confidence,” Reyes said.
Rama earlier submitted to the DOF the names of Oliva, Villarete, and Juanita Paires for the post of city treasurer.
Oliva, his favored choice, was designated treasurer for six months from Jan. 16 to July 15, 2012. Less than a month after, Secretary Purisima revoked Oliva’s appointment.
Camarillo was designated as OIC.
Rama sought reconsideration, saying Camarillo was not among his nominees.
Last June 4, Purisima designated Villarete as officer in charge of the City Treasurer’s Office.