Rama warns scalawags in City Hall: No more warning when caught in wrongdoings
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama vowed to cleanse the ranks within City Hall.
And on Monday, November 29, 2021, he gave a stern warning to employees that he will not be issuing any warning to those caught involved in illegal transactions.
Rama’s ‘first order of the day’ was to issue a termination letter addressed to Kara Mae Marie Bargamento, an employee under the city’s Market Operations Division (MOD), who was earlier arrested for allegedly extorting vendors in Carbon Public Market.
“I want a termination letter addressed to that person who was entrapped in flagrante, having dealt unlawfully in the area of the market,” Rama announced during his regular press conference on Monday.
The mayor added that Bargamento’s arrest was only ‘the tip of the iceberg’, ultimately announcing that he won’t be giving any warning to anyone who will be arrested involved in illegal activities.
“They don’t need a warning… They know very well that corruption is not my cup of tea,” said Rama.
Rama on Monday also confirmed that he has reinstituted the ‘resident ombudsman’ in City Hall by appointing former National Police Commission – Central Visayas (Napolcom – 7) director, lawyer Homer Cabaral, in the post.
He said the resident ombudsman will be working closely with the Human Resources and City Legal Office in ferreting scallawags within the city government.
“That would be a job of HR, together with the Legal (Office) and participated by the Ombudsman of City Hall,” explained Rama.
In the meantime, the Carbonhanong Alyansa is urging concerned government agencies to conduct further investigation on the arrest of Bargamento.
The group, in a statement sent to reporters, requested state investigators to probe current Market Operations Division (MOD) chief Irwin Caballes.
They suspected that Caballes could somehow be involved in the extortion activities among vendors in Carbon Public Market, the city’s largest wet market, pointing out that the certificate confiscated from Bargamento bore the official’s signature.
“It is our fervent hope that the mastermind or masterminds of corrupt activities in Carbon will be identified and arrested. It is our firm belief that Kara Mae Bargamento cannot muster the courage and daring to extort such big amounts without her being backstopped by heavyweights,” they said.
In a text message sent to reporters, Caballes requested not to comment, saying that the case is now pending in court.
“Mas maayo nga mgbase sa ebidensya not on the speculations sa grupo nga naay agenda to discredit MOD and my personality. God bless,” Caballes said.
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