Osmeña files raps against Labella over mayor’s office issue
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Former Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña has filed charges against incumbent Mayor Edgardo Labella and his men in the Office of the Ombudsman for stopping the “restoration” of the mayor’s office.
In his complaint affidavit, Osmeña filed raps of Usurpation of Official Function, Grave Misconduct, and Conduct Unbecoming of Public Officials against Labella, City Administrator Lawyer Floro Casas Jr., and City Legal Officer Laywer Rey Gealon.
Osmeña argued that Labella was still the vice mayor when his men, Casas and Gealon, intervened in the restoration of the Mayor’s Office being conducted on the midnight of July 28, 2019, or two days before Osmeña was set to step down.
The former mayor said that this act was an usurpation of his authority as incumbent mayor at that time because they took over the mayor’s office when Labella had not been officially inducted as the new mayor.
He reiterated that his purpose of stripping down the mayor’s office was to restore it to its 2016 state, before he renovated it with his own money amounting to P2 million.
The work was not done when Casas and Gealon allegedly stopped the workers and ordered the dismantling to cease, causing the mayor’s office to remain stripped bare until today.
Furthermore, Osmeña noted in his affidavit that he asked Labella to continue the restoration, but Gealon and Casas did allow him to do so to preserve the scene for investigations.
However, Osmeña said Labella entertained guests in the Mayor’s Office on July 26, 2019 as shown on facebook posts of media outlets.
Osmeña is asking the Ombudsman to call on Labella, Casas, and Gealon to explain their actions.
As for Gealon, he said they have yet to get a copy of the complaint and that they are “always ready for a legal battle.”
“Hope, spite and malice are not the attendant considerations for its filing as the honorable office of the ombudsman can see through this ‘afterthought’ of an action,” said Gealon in a text message to CDN Digital.
He described the charges as a “vengeance suit” by the former mayor.
“If we are to apply the legal maxim: ‘He who comes into equity must come with ‘clean hands’- definitely, we have the right to file a case since we came in clean, I don’t know with him,” he added. /bmjo
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