No Rama suspension in case filed by Tomas
The Office of the Ombudsman refused to order the preventive suspension of Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama in the case for gross misconduct, gross neglect of duty and/or grave abuse of authority filed by south district Rep. Tomas Osmeña.
The January 4 order signed by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales said the preventive suspension sought by Osmeña does not apply in Rama’s case.
The order cited Administrative Order no. 7 which states that suspension only applies when the office during their investigation finds that the evidence of guilt is strong; that the charge against an officer or employee involves dishonesty, oppression or gross misconduct, or gross neglect in the performance of duty; the charge would warrant removal from office; or if the respondent’s continued stay in office may prejudice the just, fair, and independent disposition of the case filed against him.
“On the basis of the evidence proffered by complainant, there is no indication that said requirements are satisfied,” said the eight-page order.
However, the order also said the Ombudsman will not hesitate “to exercise its preventive suspension authority over respondent, if subsequently necessitated in the course of the instant administrative investigation.”
Osmeña filed the complaint against Rama for allegedly violating laws when he barred department heads to attend budget hearings for the proposed P11.8 2012 budget.
Osmeña who is running against the re-election Rama in the May 13 election also accused Rama of abuse of authority when he insisted on making Emma Villarete address the City Council’s queries on the 2012 draft budget instead of then Acting Treasurer Tessie Camarillo.
The congressman has also accused Rama of concealing some communication from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) which declared a P203 million budget passed in 2011 as “inoperative.”
“Furthermore, an inquiry as to the reasons and justifications for respondent’s apparent preference of Acting Assistant Treasurer Emma Villarete to be designated as ICO Treasurer may serve to enlighten this Office of the determination of the presence of criminal responsibility, if any, especially on whether respondent Mayor Rama had usurped the functions of the BLGF on the matter of appointment of the ICO City Treasurer,” the order said.
It added that while there is an accusation that Rama tried to conceal some documents, “the subject letter did not bear any indication that it was received by the respondent Mayor Rama or his Office.”
The Ombudsman wanted to hear Rama’s defenses and the complainants rebuttal, “to ascertain the factual and legal soundness of preventively suspending respondent.”
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