BO-PK bloc still deferring SB1 despite court ruling

By: Jose Santino S. Bunachita November 29,2015 - 11:39 PM

THE Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK) bloc in the Cebu City Council won’t budge on its deferral of the P2.8 billion Supplemental Budget 1 (SB1).

This despite a court ruling dismissing the case filed by former prosecutor Romulo Torres against the use of the proceeds of the sale of South Road Properties (SRP) lots which funds SB1.

City Councilor Margarita Osmeña, the chairperson of the committee on budget and finance, said Torres filed a motion for reconsideration on the dismissal of the case by Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 9 Judge Alexander Acosta.

“I guess that’s the logical step for them (Torres’ camp). We’re just being consistent. I understand the vice mayor filed something in the Ombudsman. He’s the father of the council, he’s our leader supposedly. He should explain to us the implications. What happens next?” she said.

Asked if the filing of the motion for reconsideration would mean the council still won’t lift the deferment of the SB1, she said “of course.”

Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella earlier wrote the Ombudsman-Visayas, asking it to compel the City Council to act on the SB1.

(Read : Labella seeks Ombudsman intervention on stalled SB1 )

But Osmeña said the council needs assurance that they won’t be held liable if the court eventually sides with Torres.

She also questioned how the anti-graft office could compel the council when the case continues to be pending.

Both Mayor Michael Rama and Labella believe the motion for reconsideration of Torres won’t prosper. Rama, a lawyer, said the motion is an “exercise in futility.”

“I cannot imagine why stubbornness should be displayed unless it is really an utmost manifestation of political gimmickry and cheap exercise to bring about a losing battle,” the mayor said.

He said he will leave it to the City Hall lawyers to handle the motion.

The SB1 includes the P2.3 billion SRP loan prepayment, P87 million garbage tipping fees, and P77.3 million Productivity Enhancement Incentive (PEI) for City Hall employees.

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TAGS: Bando Osmeña Pundok Kauswagan, Cebu City Council, Ombudsman-Visayas, Regional Trial Court, South Road Properties, Supplemental Budget 1

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