Dads to ask Ombud to probe Mayor Tom
Barug Team Rama councilors want the Office of the Ombudsman in the Visayas to already intervene in their dispute with Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña on the hiring of their office consultants.
Councilor Raymond Alvin Garcia said that the mayor is holding hostage their privilege to avail the service of consultants to compel them to support his wishes.
“We will definitely sue him (Osmeña). We will just gather the documents (needed for the case). We will really sue,” Garcia said in a press conference which Barug Team Rama councilors dubbed as the “Kapihan with Barug Councilors” and held at the City Hall office of Councilor Joel Garganera.
Councilors Garcia and Jose Daluz III, who are lawyers by profession, share the opinion that the mayor could be guilty of grave abuse of authority and grave abuse of discretion for refusal to approve their request to hire office consultants.
Each of the city’s 16 councilors and one ex-officio member are entitled to hire the services of a consultant for a period of six months per contract and for a fee of P18,000 per month.
Garcia said that Osmeña is also depriving the opposition bloc of other benefits which include the assignment of a service vehicle and communication allowances.
“It’s not just about him. It’s the principle. We will file in the Ombudsman and get a ruling if it is grave abuse of authority and discretion. Or is it within his authority? It’s for our guidance later on, about what is really the guideline on consultancy,” Daluz said.
Osmeña said he would not approve the hiring of consultants for most of the Barug councilors anticipating that they go against his administration.
But he made exceptions for Councilors Daluz, Eduardo Rama Jr. and Philip Zafra who expressed support for his Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project.
Councilors Nendell Hanz Abella, Dave Tumulak and Jerry Guardo, who used to be allied with Barug Team Rama, were given office consultants, office vehicles and allowances after they bolted the opposition bloc.
In yesterday’s press conference, Daluz and Rama said they are not inclined to accept the mayor’s consultant offer.
“It’s unfair to the others. We are all councilors. We are all working. We are in the same group and we are the only ones given consultants?” Rama said.
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