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Cebu City legal chief quits post after election

10:07 AM May 23, 2013

HE’S  on official leave, but City Legal Officer Joseph Bernaldez isn’t waiting for  Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama to kick him out.
Bernaldez resigned effective  May 15 while still on leave.
Lyndon  Basan heads the city’s legal office in an acting capacity.
“I know that my term is co-terminus and its ends on June 30 based on protocol,”  Bernaldez said.
Bernaldez was among those who reportedly walked out of a meeting called by Rama before the May 13 elections wherein  the mayor asked his department and section heads to help  his re-election bid.
The mayor said he wanted to know who he could count on.
Bernaldez yesterday said he no longer wanted to wait for the end of  his appointment.
He said he  wanted to “rest” and use his leave credits of 120 days  accumulated since he joined the Cebu City government in 2005.
He plans to join the corporate world when his leave ends.
After his May 14 proclamation,  Mayor Rama said there would be changes among the department and section heads at City Hall.
The city legal officer took the cue.
Councilor Jose Daluz III, Team Rama campaign manager, said he may be asked by the mayor to occupy the city administrator’s office to replace Jose Marie Poblete when Rama starts his second term in office on July 1.
There have been talks among City Hall insiders that Poblete will head the city legal office.
“But we’ll clear it up when the mayor returns,” Daluz said.
Rama is on a 22-day leave to rest after the election.
Team Rama allies refuse to say where he went. Calls to his cellphone were directed to a Mandarin speaking telephone operator.
Daluz said Rama, who left the country last Sunday, is expected to return this Friday but will travel again  to other  parts of the country as part of his vacation.
Daluz said Team Rama scheduled a June 1 victory party and was  only waiting for Rama’s confirmation of the list of activities which they prepared for the event. Chief of Reporters Doris C. Bongcac

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