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Unfair to Rama

By: Ricky Poca December 13,2015 - 04:11 AM

Last Dec. 2 the Office of the President issued a preventive suspension against Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama in connection with the demolition of a median constructed by  barangay Labangon.

In his defense, the mayor  stated certain facts to give his side.

First, the city only approved the project’s costing and design. Vice Mayor Edgar  Labella on Thursday said that they discovered that what the mayor signed was the approval for only the street lighting component.

Second,   it was necessary for the barangay to secure a permit from the Department of Public Work sand Highways (DPWH) because the median or center island was on a national road which is under the jurisdiction of the DPWH.

Third, the barangay built the median without   a permit from the DPWH

Fourth, the city government called the attention of the Labangon barangay captain and directed him to stop  construction and to get a DPWH permit but this  was left unheeded
Ben Militar, lawyer of the Bando Osmeña-Pundok Kauswagan (BO-PK), alleged that the city engineer gave the letter to proceed with the project.  It turned out this was signed by barangay captain Vic Buendia

Fifth, the DPWH later ordered the demolition of the illegal structure for posing danger to the public.

Sixth, since there was  already an order of the DPWH, the mayor under the Local Government Code implemented the demolition of the structure
The preventive suspension order is not a penalty. There are no findings yet that  the mayor is guilty of anything because the issue still has to be resolved.

The Office of the President is clearly playing partisan politics here. There was  no factual and legal basis to suspend Rama who  was  implementing an  order of the DPWH to remove a  median illegally constructed that posed danger to the public.

The mayor was exercising  police power under the general welfare clause. As chief executive and father of the city,  he was  just protecting  lives.
The mayor did not  approve the entire project.  What he approved was its  costing and  design.

The barangay captain was  stubborn about not heeding the city government’s advice  to get a DPWH permit. The person who should  have been suspended is the barangay captain.

Buendia, who belongs to the BO-PK and is running for a seat in the city council, was not  telling the truth in his public statements.

I am confident Mayor Rama can secure a  favorable decision from the Court of Appeals including  a temporary restraining order against the Office of the President. Any law student would clearly grasp these points.

The decision of Malacañang  may be considered  unfair.   They should be  ashamed of what was done to the city government.

The people  behind the suspension should be worried because people can see the injustice.  If the mayor handles the situation properly, the order may just boomerang on local and national candidates  allied with the administration in next year’s  election.

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TAGS: barangay Labangon, BOPK, Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama, DPWH, Local Government Code

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