Toledo dads file 10 plaints at Ombud vs acting mayor, lawyer
Acting Toledo City Mayor Antonio Yapha Jr. and his appointed legal officer, Lawyer Teresito Largo, are facing 10 administrative complaints before the Office of the Ombudsman.
The complaints which were submitted by the Toledo City Council headed by Vice Mayor Marjorie Perales included gross ignorance of the law, grave misconduct, grave abuse of discretion, conduct grossly prejudicial to the public service, graft and corruption, violation of the Local Government code, violation of the Civil Service Law, violation of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and the Ombudsman Act of 1989.
Yapha said in a text message to Cebu Daily News, that he was already expecting the move of the City Council and described it as a move to slow down their delivery of service to the public.
“I know that the Ombudsman will not be swayed by a clumsy if not malicious accusation. It’s easy to finger-point anyone but to prove a story true is a different ball game,” Yapha said.
The complaints were filed after Yapha reappointed Largo as the City Legal Officer despite the Toledo City Council’s not approving Largo’s appointment.
Lawyer Inocencio Dela Cerna, lawyer of the Toledo City Council members, said that the continuous service of Largo as City Legal Officer had no legal basis because the appointment was not approved by the City Council.
Largo was appointed by Yapha as the City Legal Officer last January 15. However, the City Council disapproved the appointment.
Yapha reappointed Largo, but the Council again disapproved the appointment, but Yapha ignored the action of the Council and again reappointed Largo for the third time.
“The city council found it out of his (Yapha) jurisdiction that is why they decided to file a case against the mayor and Attorney Largo because the city government of Toledo has been paying Attorney Largo without any basis. It is public money. It is the money of the people of Toledo, and it is being disbursed to a private individual without legal basis,” said Dela Cerna.
But Largo describe the Council’s act as an encroachment on the prerogative of the chief executive to appoint officials.
“Appointment is the power of the chief executive. It should be an executive appointment. Not a legislative appointment,” said Largo.
He reiterated that his appointment was legal and that he possessed all the qualifications set by the Local Government Code for a Legal Officer.
“That case should be dismissed for lack of legal basis. Section 455 of the Local Government Code provides the power and duties of the chief executive to appoint local officials. I was appointed as City Legal Officer on Jan. 15, 2018, and I possess all the qualifications and none of the disqualifications,” said Largo.
However, Perales maintained that the council will not concur with the appointment as they had no confidence and trust in Largo.
“Since my appointment, I have been doing my job. In fact, I have already issued 65 legal opinions. I have made pleadings on behalf of the City of Toledo,” said Largo.
Largo also sits as Vice Chairman of the city’s Bids and Awards Committee (BAC), and executive director of the Local Housing Board and the Scholarship Committee among others.
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of Cebudailynews. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.