Dec. 31 deadline or Delute goes to Ombud

By: Doris C. Bongcac December 23,2014 - 01:10 AM

He collected his share of P3,000 yesterday as a senior citizen but Cebu City lawyer Reymelio Delute said he would still file a complaint if the balance of P2,000 isn’t released by December 31.

The delayed release of the last installment of an annual P12,000  cash benefit has put Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama  and OIC City Treasurer Diwa Cuevas on the spot.

“I will just write to the Ombudsman to request for a fact-finding inquiry to determine if there was any violation in their conduct,” Delute told CDN.

Delute said he could not see any reason for delay in the release when the  appropriation for the annual benefit was included in this year’s city budget.

So far P10,000 each has been released to 57,000 registered seniors citizens in Cebu City.

Due to tight cash flow at year end, the Rama administration had to withdraw a time deposit account intended for the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) reconstruction project to be able to release yesterday’s P3,000 installment to seniors.

According to Delute, the CCMC funds were originally intended for drainage projects but were realigned to fund Phase 1 of the city hospital reconstruction project.

The allocation has been again used for another purpose, this time for seniors assistance.

Delute pointed out that this time there was no council approval.

“That is juggling of funds and a serious offense that may be used as grounds for technical malversation.  What’s their legal basis when there’s no council resolution for realignment?” Delute told CDN.

Delute earlier wrote Mayor Rama to demand the release of a P5, 000 balance of this year’s assistance to registered senior citizens.

Delute confirmed that he went to the Basak San Nicolas barangay hall yesterday morning to claim his share  as a senior citizen.

“I will not be a hypocrite.  I also need money,” he said.

Delute said several people in the barangay approach him asking for aid so the cash benefit is helpful.

He ran for barangay captain in 2013 but lost to George Rama, the mayor’s cousin.

OIC City Treasurer Cuevas earlier told City Council members that the P2, 000 balance will be released next month.

“They made a promise to the seniors.  The appropriation is already budgeted and certified available.  Why can’t they release it?” said Delute.

Much as he is tempted to file a complaint in court, Delute said he wanted to do away with the inconvenience of evidence gathering so he will write to the Ombudsman instead to conduct a fact-finding inquiry.

Last year, Delute filed an administrative complaint against the mayor and several city councilors  for enacting an ordinance providing for a P20,000 calamity assistance in December 2013 after typhoon Yolanda.  The officials received the cash aid even if the were not calamity victims, he said.

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TAGS: Acting Cebu City Treasurer Diwa Cuevas, Ombudsman, treasurer

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