Tomas Osmeña sued for venting ‘personal grudge’ vs rival on mayor’s office
CEBU CITY—A complaint was filed on Monday (July 8) against former Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, and several others for stripping bare the mayor’s office following Osmeña’s loss in the May 13 elections.
The complaint asked the Office of the Ombudsman to hold the respondents liable for theft, malicious mischief, violation of the code of conduct and ethical standards for public officials, grave misconduct, grave neglect of duty, conduct unbecoming of a public official and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of service.
It was filed by Mejelito Cajes, head of the Cebu City Hall Building Maintenance Services section of the Department of General Services Office,
Named respondents were Osmeña, his executive assistants Raymund Paul Taboada and Francisco “Bimbo” Fernandez; staffers Cindy Montermoso, Jimpaul Saavedra, and Valentino Ontong Jr.; Architect Ann Ruby King of the City Planning Office; private security firm led by Lance Samuel Co and Edgardo Ong as well as security officers Joebert Gio and Benjie Dolino; contractor Pericles Dakay of Dakay Construction and 32 other unidentified men working for the construction firm.
Osmeña, the complaint said, was “the mastermind” who even admitted at a press conference that he gave orders to empty the mayor’s room of his personal belongings and “everything he paid for” when he had the office renovated in 2016.
The complaint said Osmeña, through the renovation, accepted a “prohibited gift” worth P1 million.
Osmeña could not be reached for comment. A source close to him said the former mayor and his family were out of the country.
Although Osmeña claimed that the pieces of furniture, equipment and other stuff removed from the office were his or were paid for by him, the complaint said “all properties stored at the office of the mayor are presumed government properties”.
Items nailed or screwed on walls and other parts of the office “could no longer be removed even with proof of ownership” by Osmeña, the complaint said.
It said that Osmeña was driven to strip the office bare “by his infantile personal grudge” against the candidate who beat him in the elections, now Mayor Edgar Labella.
The complaint cited Republic Act No. 386 which provided that officials give up their ownership rights to pieces of furniture, equipment and other items if these were used for renovating or improving their offices. (Editor: Tony Bergonia)
See the bigger picture with the Inquirer's live in-depth coverage of the election here https://inq.ph/Election2019
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.