Tomas O defends relatives in Ombud case over carsBy Doris C. Bongcac
Cebu Daily News
An emotional Cebu City Rep. Tomas Osmeña yesterday defended his sister and nephew who were included in an anti-graft complaint filed against the congressmen for allegedly accepting Dodge Charger sedans from an investor instead of having them donated to the Cebu City government.
Osmeña said he is ready to cooperate with an Ombudsman investigation on the complaint filed by Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama even if the office has no jurisdiction to investigate a member of the House of Representatives.
But Osmeña said it was unfair to include his sister Minnie Osmeña Stuart and her son Paolo in the “fishing expedition”.
In a speech before barangay captains, Osmeña said if the mayor wanted to talk about family relations, he should be asked if he was loyal to his ex-wife and whether his cousin Anabelle Rama, a prospective candidate for the north congressional district, can prove her moral standing.
The two American-made cars were owned by Bigfoot Entertainment, the first major investor in the government-owned South Road Properties.
The cars were used during Osmeña’s term as mayor before they were purchased in June 2012 and registered in the name of the congressman’s sister and nephew.
“The Ombudsman has no jurisdiction over private persons,” said Osmeña. He said he especially resented dragging his nephew Paulo Jacinto in the case.
Asked by reporters why he was emotional when he spoke before the Association of Barangay Councils, Osmeña said he had to fight back using the “same language they understand.”
Osmeña and members of his Bando Osmena Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK) attended the ABC assembly yesterday at the Grand Convention Center.
He recalled his achievements as mayor when he was first elected in 1988 as compared this to Rama’s first term in office.
Osmeña said the Chrysler vehicles were never donated by Bigftoot to the city otherwise it would be easy to find records of a City Council resolution about it.
“So how can you accept a non-donation?” he said.
“For them to claim that these were donated to the city, the burden of proof is on Mike Rama,” he said.