Cebu City Legal: Let Ombudsman decide on Mayor’s Seal issue

By: Delta Dyrecka Letigio July 12,2019 - 03:49 PM

The Official Mayor’s Seal of Cebu City (left) was changed by former Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña in 2018 with the new seal (right).

CEBU CITY, Philippines–With all the hullabaloo about the Cebu City Mayor’s Seal, the Cebu City Legal Office believes it’s about time that the issue be decided on by the Office of the Ombudsman.

“All has been said. Let’s defer any comment on the matter and give outmost courtesy to the Ombudsman to conduct its own investigation on the matter,” said Lawyer Rey Gealon, the City Legal Officer.

The disappearance of one of the seals in the Mayor’s Office is one of the grounds of the city government in filing charges of theft and corruption against former Mayor Tomas Osmeña, who stripped his office before his term ended on June 30, 2019.

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

The camp of Osmeña already denied the allegations, saying the official seal was taken by Engineer Mejilito Cajes to be used in the inauguration of Mayor Edgardo Labella on June 30. The seal was seen on the podium during Labella’s inauguration.

Gealon said that there are two official Mayor’s Seal, the new one with the 1521 inscribed in it and the old seal without. The new seal with the 1521 was allegedly stolen by Osmeña.

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

Although the old seal can still be used, the new seal still needs to be accounted for by the city government as it  government property that was taken without consent.

“Even if there are two or three or even a hundred seals, we have to account for them because we are accountable to the people. Public funds are being used,” said Gealon.

Read more: Osmeña’s lawyer says ‘lost’ Mayor’s Seal was used during Labella’s inauguration

He also said that even if the seal was donated, it was given in account of the public office of the person who heads that office. The seal will be accrued to the city government.

However, Lawyer Armando Virgil Ligutan, Osmeña’s legal counsel, said there can only be one official seal at any given time as a new seal needs to be approved by the city council.

Read more: Security guard confirms removal of seal from mayor’s office

“So the seal from Suarez Brothers cannot be considered as the “new” seal unless approved by the city council. Unless the city legal officer will again change his position and argue that a city council approval is not needed,” said Ligutan.

Meanwhile, according to heraldic law the National Historical Commission of the Philippines (NHCP), there are no other official seals for the city except for its official NHCP registered seal.

NHCP only has one registered seal, the city’s official seal with the Magellan’s cross with blue and red colors embedded in a yellow background.

The rest of the seals in the offices of the Cebu City government are not registered. /bmjo

Subscribe to our regional newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.
Read Next

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.

TAGS: Armando Virgil Ligutan, Cebu City Mayor's Seal, Edgardo Labella, Mayor's seal, Rey Gealon, Tomas Osmeña

Subscribe to our regional newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.