DILG-Cebu to wait for Central Office directive on Sonny O suspension

By: Jessa Mae O. Sotto August 20,2018 - 10:54 PM


THE Department of Interior and Local Government in Cebu Province (DILG-Cebu) will not implement the order for Toledo City Mayor John Henry “Sonny” Osmeña to serve the remaining four months of his suspension until they will receive an order from the DILG Central Office.

DILG Provincial Director Jerome Gonzales said he would wait for the mandate from their higher ups as to when they will serve the order for Osmeña to serve the remaining months of his suspension order.

“We stand by the opinion of the central office because while we are the DILG officers, we are not the DILG,” Gonzales told reporters on Monday.

The suspension came after the Office of the Ombudsman ordered Osmeña for one-year suspension from service over his alleged refusal to release the quarterly real property tax (RPT) shares of Barangay Daanlungsod in Cebu in August 2017.

The mayor reportedly refused to release Barangay Daanlungsod’s P17 million RPT share for the period covering the last two quarters of 2014 and for the fiscal year of 2015.

In his counter-affidavit, Osmeña justified that it is his “duty to protect government funds and properties” as there were boundary disputes between Barangays Sangi and Daanlungsod which is pending before the Court of Appeals (CA).

The mayor started serving his suspension on Sept 14, 2017, in which Vice Mayor Antonio Yapha Jr. became the Acting City mayor.

However, in May 2018, Osmeña was able to return to his post as public official as the CA granted the petition of the mayor for review and reversed the Ombudsman’s decision.

This after the appellate court ruled out the “condonation rule” as the mayor was re-elected in May 2016 which operates condonation despite his previous misconduct as the city mayor.

Meanwhile, Lawyer Inocencio De La Cerna, legal counsel of Osmeña, has cautioned the DILG in implementing the remaining months of the suspension.

“Among giingnan ang DILG nga to go slow on this one kay this is a judicial issue, and we have to go to CA,” De La Cerna said.

He also claimed that Vice Mayor Yapha, who stepped down as the acting mayor after Osmeña returned to the office, sought for DILG’s opinion for its legalities.

De La Cerna added that they recently received a letter from the Ombudsman stating that they will continue the implementation of the suspension of Osmeña.

“Kon imo paselbihon sa suspension kay useless kay moot and academic kay naka serve na gud. This is a legal question ako giingnan nga hinay-hinay lang. I hope they will heed my request,” he added. /

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TAGS: directive, Sonny O., suspension, wait

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