Rama ready to face graft, corruption cases for SRP sale in 2015
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Vice Mayor Michael “Mike” Rama said he was ready to face the charges of graft and corruption that former mayor Tomas Osmeña planned to file against him for selling the 45-hectare property at the South Road Properties (SRP) in 2015.
In a phone interview with CDN Digital, Rama said that he was expecting Osmeña to continue to find ways to stop the development of the 45-hectare properties, which was expected to bring in 2 million jobs to Cebuanos.
“Nag-expect na gyod kong dili na siya mohunong. (I expected Osmeña to continue with his action on the SRP sale.) We have been making the statement, and now, we do not have to add anymore because that (legality of the sales) has already been settled,” said Rama.
Rama said there was already legal jurisprudence over the case since the decision of the Court of Appeals on April 30, 2019, denied the petition of a certain Romulo Torres, who argued the sale of the 45-hectare property to the SM-Ayala consortium in 2015 was illegal.
The vice mayor said he would simply wait for the formal complaint to be lodged, but he was confident that the case would not prosper.
“Atubangan lang nato. Atong huwaton. (We will face it. We will wait for the complaint),” said Rama.
Osmeña is set to the file the graft and corruption case to the Office of the Ombudsman on Monday, December 9, 2019, against Rama, Acting City Treasurer Jerone Castillo, Budget Officer Mariette Gumia, Lucelle Mercado, Diwa Cuevas and Mark Rosell.
Castillo was the city legal officer when Rama served as mayor in 2015.
Gumia was also budget officer under the Rama administration in 2015.
Mercado, Cuevas and Rosell were former City Hall employees when Rama was mayor.
Osmeña said that Rama did not have the authority to sign the contract of the sale during his term as mayor because the 13th Sangguniang Panglungsod filed a resolution on August 5, 2015, asking the mayor not to sign the sale contract.
The former mayor said that Rama allegedly “forced the signing of the contract” two days after the plea of the Sanggunian and that would make the sale illegal. /dbs
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