Ombudsman dismisses abuse of authority complaint vs. Tom

By: Nestle L. Semilla February 10,2018 - 10:50 PM

New treasurer Veronica Morelos says she had previous experience working at her new post.
CDN File Photo

The Office of the Ombudsman has dismissed a complaint filed by a former Cebu City Hall employee against Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña accusing him of abuse of authority.

The anti-graft office has not found any probable cause to pursue the complaint of Aniceto Canturias against Osmeña and then acting City Administrator and currently acting City Treasurer Veronica Morelos.

Canturias filed the complaint last August 1, 2016.

The complaint stemmed from Osmeña’s issuing a memorandum to jointly designate Morelos and Cebu City Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella as acting mayors while he was gone to spend a vacation in Japan from July 22 to 27 in 2016.

Canturias claimed that Osmeña and Morelos violated Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act; RA 6713 or an Act Establishing a Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees; and RA 10 or an Act Penalizing Usurpation of Public Authority as the mayor designated two acting mayors.

“On account of respondent Osmeña’s issuance of memorandum jointly designating Labella and Morelos as acting mayors, the office finds no probable cause,” stated the Ombudsman’s resolution.

As to Canturias’ contentions that Morelos made decisions as if she was the acting mayor, the Ombudsman said that there was no evidence showing that Morelos wielded the powers of acting mayor, thereby negating the accusation of Usurpation of Public Authority under RA No. 10.

In a resolution dated December 20, 2017 of the Ombudsman which was sign by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, the Anti-Graft Office dismissed the complaint as it lacks probable cause.

The Visayas Ombudsman’s decision to dismiss the complaint was only received by the Cebu City Legal Office last Feb. 5, 2017.

When sought for comment, Osmeña reiterated that the complaint of Canturias was ill motivated.

Canturias was a former consultant of Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama. He worked as a consultant from 2013 to 2016.

He said that he was happy about the dismissal of the case and described Canturias as a consultant of then Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, whom Osmena alleged was used for fake news.

CDN tried to reach Canturias, but he could not be reached for comment.

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TAGS: abuse, authority, complaint, dismisses, Ombudsman, Tom

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