Tomas Osmeña on case against Mike Rama: ‘I will challenge it all the way up’
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Former Mayor Tomas Osmeña is not giving up on the case he filed against incumbent and former city officials, including Mayor Michael Rama, over the sale of several lots in South Road Properties (SRP).
The Office of the Ombudsman junked the motion for reconsideration filed by former Mayor Osmeña against Mayor Rama and five others over the sale of SRP lots made in 2015. The joint order was received by officials of the Cebu City government on Monday, November 13, 2023.
“I expected it. I will challenge it all the way up,” Osmeña told CDN Digital on Wednesday, November 15.
In December 2019, Osmeña filed charges against Rama for allowing them to dispose of the lots during his term as mayor even when the 13th Sangguniang Panglungsod filed a resolution on August 5, 2015, asking the mayor not to sign the sale contract.
Aside from Rama, those named as respondents were Acting City Treasurer Jerone Castillo, former Budget Officer Mariette Gumia, Lucelle Mercado, Diwa Cuevas, and Mark Rosell.
Lawyer Jerone Castillo was the city legal officer when Rama served as mayor in 2015 while Gumia was also a budget officer under the Rama administration.
Mercado, Cuevas, and Rosell are also former City Hall employees when Rama was mayor.
Osmeña claimed that Rama and his officials intended to bypass the Sanggunang Panglungsod and force the contract to push because of their personal interests.
Legal grand slam
Castillo, now the city budget officer, described the dismissal of the case by the Office of the Ombudsman as a “legal grand slam”
“We have won before the regular court, the appellate court, and now the Office of the Ombudsman. With humility, we have achieved, so to speak, a legal grand slam,” Castillo told CDN Digital on Tuesday, November 14.
Castillo was among the six other personalities against whom Osmeña filed charges over the sale of South Road Properties lots in 2015.
Castilo said that the issue of the supposed irregularities on the sale of SRP lots through public bidding is “finally laid to rest.”
In the joint order, which was received by the city government on Monday, November 13, the motion for reconsideration was denied as Osmeña failed to present new evidence that could materially affect the assailed resolution.
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