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Osmeña’s camp welcomes DILG investigation

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio July 10,2019 - 05:46 PM

The camp of former Cebu City mayor Tomas Osmeña says it welcomes the investigation of the Department of Interior and Local Government on the issue involving the mayor’s office. CDN FILE PHOTO

CEBU CITY, Philippines—The camp of former Cebu City mayor Tomas Osmeña said it welcomes the investigation of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) on the issue involving the physical condition of the mayor’s office.

In a statement sent to CDN Digital, Lawyer Amando Virgil Ligutan, Osmeña’s legal counsel, said they are ready for the DILG investigation.

He said they welcome the opportunity to prove that the things taken by Osmeña from the office were only his personal items.

READ: Tomas, 43 others face Ombuds complaint for ‘demolition’ of Office of the Mayor

READ: DILG may charge Tomas for Mayor’s Office issue

In earlier statements, Osmeña’s camp expressed their faith that the DILG will be objective in their investigation of the former mayor.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año, who was in Cebu City for the pre-SONA (State of the Nation Address) forum on Wednesday, July 10, 2019, said he already ordered a fact-finding investigation to handle the issue involving the “destruction” of the mayor’s office on June 28, 2019.

The investigation will look into Osmeña’s action for claiming ownership of the furniture items and some fixtures of the office including the toilet and the Mayor’s Official Seal.

The fact-finding investigation would also include reports from Osmeña’s camp as the former mayor must prove that the items he took were purchased using his personal funds.

“I want to send all these reports because this (issue) can constitute as a graft. Then we will file the case at the Ombudsman for the appropriate actions,” said Año.

Año said that they are preparing charges of theft and graft and corruption against the former mayor for the incident.

If proven that the office was in fact destroyed and has become unusable, Osmeña may also face charges of “destruction of public property.”

The DILG secretary said Osmeña’s action should not be tolerated.

He said such action should not be followed by seating officials when they lose an election.

“Ang gusto natin dito, accountability. Kahit na ikaw ay outgoing or incumbent, you should be responsible for your action. Inihalal ka ng mga tao, ineexpect nila na maayos ang iyong pamamahala at iba pa,” said Año.

(What we want here is accountability. Even if you are an outgoing or incumbent (official) , you should be responsible for your action. You were elected by the people, they expect that you govern and behave well.)

If the fact-finding investigation finds the former mayor guilty, Año said they will then proceed with the filing of charges against Osmeña to the Office of the Ombudsman.

READ: A tale of two seals: Cebu City Mayor’s Seal controversy continues

The Cebu City Government also filed a case against Osmeña as on Monday, July 8, 2019, for theft and corruption for the “destruction” of the mayor’s office and for alleged stealing of the Official Seal of the Mayor.

Meanwhile, Lawyer Rey Gealon, the Cebu City Legal Officer, said the city will put up for bidding the making of a new seal for the Office of the Mayor. / celr

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TAGS: Cebu City Mayor Mayor Tomas Osmeña

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