Mayor to banks: Don’t release city cash
Cebu City’s four depository banks were warned against releasing City Hall money to pay for the Rallos lots.
In a letter, Rama asked officials of the Land Bank of the Philippines, Development Bank of the Philippines, Philippine Postal Bank and Philippine Veterans Bank to “be extra careful and not to release the city’s deposits in case of garnishment.”
Rama said City Hall deposits that are earmarked for this year’s needs cannot be garnished.
“Based on practice you cannot seize the money of government,” he said.
As this developed, Rama threatened to take legal action against Antonio Bellones, sheriff IV of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 9, for the issuance of the notice of garnishment on Tuesday or a day after the mayor received a copy of the notice of immediate payment on the Rallos lot case.
Rama said the city was supposed to have 15 days to respond to the notice of immediate payment.
He questioned the haste in resolving the money claims of the Ralloses when several other cases remain pending in court for years.
“Obviously there was bad faith in the issuance of the notice of garnishment. We will pursue legal actions against the sheriff. We will take legal remedies,” he said.
The mayor said the issuance of the notice was an indication that Bellones “does not care about public funds.”
Cebu City has been asked to pay P133.5 million to the heirs of the late Fr. Vicente Rallos as just compensation for a road lot located in barangay Sambag II.
Rama said the city has not given up on the case.
He said he already directed the city legal office to turn over to his office documents on the Rallos case.
The mayor said he wanted his office to personally supervise the progress of the case in coordination with City Hall lawyers Carlo Gimena and Leslie Ann Reyes.
He said he suspects some businessmen may have funded the Rallos case with hopes of getting millions as return of investment if it prospers.
But he said he does not have proof to substantiate this theory.
Rama is asking Cebuanos who may have information on this matter to share it with him.
Bellones said he is ready to face any charge that Rama may file against him.
“It’s okay. That is their right. Let’s see if it will prosper,” Bellones told Cebu Daily News.
“It’s very clear that the order has to be served ‘immediately.’ If I’ll delay it, the city has to pay more,” he added.
In an order dated Sept. 23, Judge James Stewart Ramon Himalaloan of the RTC Branch 9 gave the go signal to issue a writ of execution against the city government.
If the city government “cannot immediately pay all or part of the money judgment and lawful fee in cash, certified bank check or such other form payment acceptable by the judgment obliges,” it should choose from any of its patrimonial properties, real or personal that it may prefer to be levied upon for the satisfaction of the money judgement, the judge said.
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