Labella leaves probe on lost chickens to Ombudsman
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella said he would leave the investigation of the donated chickens allegedly sold to the public to the Office of the Ombudsman.
The mayor said that since the Barangay Sambag I residents filed their case in the Ombudsman, the jurisdiction over investigation had also been transferred to the Ombudsman.
As a mayor, he cannot also conduct an investigation over Councilor Eduardo Rama Jr., who is a member of thr Legislative Department.
Such disciplinary administrative power lies only in the Office of the President, who can order an investigation and even a suspension of an erring councilor.
Labella, who is a former Ombudsman, himself, said that the mayor’s powers was limited when it would come to disciplining members of the City Council.
“Under our existing laws, the mayor does not have a criminal jurisdiction or disciplinary adminitrative jurisdiction over a member of the Sanggunian. That is under the President. The case has also been already filed at the Ombudsman, they will conduct an investigation,” said Labella.
The mystery of the lost chicken first emerged in June 2020 when Councilor Joy Young sought that the 18,000 chickens donated by a private entity be accounted for after he received reports that these were being sold to the public.
Councilor Rama already presented affidavits to the City Council proving that the chickens were distributed to recipient barangays.
Labella has thought the issue has been resolved in the council and has not expected it to resurface.
He encouraged the residents, who filed their complaints to wait for the Ombudsman to conduct the investigation, and assured them of the city’s cooperation. /dbs
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