Cebu City Legal Office to Osmeña: ‘No, you can’t restore the Mayor’s Office’

By Delta Dyrecka Letigio |July 23,2019 - 08:51 PM

The photo on the left is the Mayor’s Office in November 2017 while the right photo is the Mayor’s Office on June 28, 2019 when outgoing mayor Tomas Osmeña removed his ‘personal things’ from the office. | CDN FILE photo and Gerard Francisco

CEBU CITY, Philippines―The City Legal Office said that they will not allow former mayor Tomas Osmeña to continue with the “restoration” of the Mayor’s Office.

Lawyer Rey Gealon, the city legal officer, said that Osmeña’s request is an “after thought” after the cases of theft and graft and corruption were filed against him before at the Office of the Ombudsman.

“Nakahuna-huna tingali ang kanhi mayor nga lig-un kaayo ang ebidensiya, ug gani pending naman diha sa buhatan sa Ombudsman ang atong gipasakang kaso,” said Geaolon.

(Maybe the former mayor realized that the evidence against him are strong and the case is pending at the Office of the Ombudsman.)

READ: Osmeña to Labella: Allow me to restore Mayor’s Office

In the letter addressed to Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella, Osmeña noted that Gealon and City Administrator, Floro Casas Jr., were the reasons that the restoration is delayed.

But Gealon said that Osmeña’s move to blame him and Casas is a “weak excuse.”

He said that none of the workers of Osmeña returned in the morning of July 29, which signifies that there really was no intention to restore the Mayor’s Office.

Gealon also noted that Osmeña’s previous statement to the media, which clearly states his intention to revert the office back to its 2001 condition, not its 2016 state, which now Osmeña claims to be his true intention.

READ: Osmeña strips off his office of furnishings as he ends his term

READ: City Legal to COA: Probe Mayor’s Office’s ‘destruction’

For these reasons, Gealon said they cannot allow Osmeña to restore the Mayor’s Office as the case has been filed to the Ombudsman and the investigation has started.

He also said that allowing Osmeña to continue the restoration would be an “obstruction of justice” because the investigation by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) is ongoing, and DILG already expressed its plans to file charges against Osmeña.

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

“Since there is already a complaint against you in the Office of the Ombudsman, let the wheels of justice run its course. To allow your request would be a mockery to one of the prosecutorial arms of the justice system,” said Gealon.

Osmeña’s camp denied that the letter and restoration plan were “after thoughts.”

Lawyer Amando Virgil Ligutan, the legal counsel of Osmeña, said that the affidavit of Engineer Mejilito Cajes clearly stated that “all workers were asked to stop the work and continue again the next day.”

“The complaint drafted by the city legal office admits that the work was not yet done when Lawyers Gealon and Cases interferred. The City Legal Office is shooting itself in the foot,” said Ligutan. / celr
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