Suspended Cebu City Councilor Jerry Guardo is set to report back for work earlier than expected.
The Office of the Ombudsman Visayas has ordered Guardo to pay an amount that is equivalent to his salary for three months when he was still Sambag I barangay captain in lieu of his supposed three-months suspension.
“I will pay on Monday,” Guardo said in an interview at his city hall office on Friday.
Guardo was ordered suspended on March 17 after the Ombudsman found him administratively liable for simple neglect of duty because of his failure to furnish the Commission on Audit (COA) with their barangays financial statement for year 2011 to 2013.
“I am very happy, glad that they (ombudsman) have speedily acted on my motion for reconsideration and clarification. They have clarified that my penalty is just to pay an amount equal to my three-month salary as barangay chairman contrary to the interpretation of the DILG that it will affect my position as city councilor of Cebu City,” Guardo said.
With Guardo’s return to office, the administration camp Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan (BOPK) will now have the majority block in the city.
Guardo’s addition will now bring BOPK’s numbers to nine as against the eight councilors of Team Rama.
BOPK leader and Cebu City mayor Tomas Osmeña said that with Guardo around, their group can now push for the reorganization of committee chairmanships at the City Council.
“We will just wait until all the councilors will get together (so we could already start reorganization discussions),” Osmeña said during his press conference on Friday.
Osmeña said he was also prepared to appoint Guardo as the Deputy Mayor for Sports.
“I just want him to be active,” he said.
Guardo said he is grateful of the help that vice mayor and former Team Rama ally Edgar Labella has given in pursuing his case.
“But it will not change my decision of transferring to BO-PK,” he said.
Guardo said he is only waiting for the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to serve the new Ombudsman order directing him to pay the three-months equivalent of his salary as Sambag I barangay captain.
“I understand that the ombudsman has sent a copy of the order to the DILG. I just hope they (DILG) will act speedily on the order so that I can (already) serve back at the city hall,” Guardo added.