DILG junks motion to defer hearings of Rama’s admin case
THE Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) has junked the motion filed by the lawyers of suspended Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama asking for the deferment of the ongoing hearings of the administrative complaint filed by Labangon barangay captain Victor Buendia.
DILG hearing officer Isidro Barrios also said he will be referring the other motion of Rama’s camp to lift the ongoing preventive suspension of Rama to the Office of the President for appropriate action.
During the resumption of the marathon hearings of the case yesterday afternoon, which was already held at the caucus room of the city council at City Hall, Barrios decided on the two pending motions of Rama’s counsels.
Rama’s son Mikel, one of his lawyers, earlier raised the motion to defer proceedings since there is still a pending civil case related to the issue before branch 16 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC).
“Defense is already available. You should have included the issue on prejudicial question in the motion to dismiss. Since you failed, it seems to have been waived. So I cannot act on it,” Barrios ruled.
The administrative case against Rama was filed last July 2014 while the civil case was filed earlier in March 2014. But Rama’s motion to dismiss was filed just last July 2015 so Barrios said the issue on “prejudicial question” considering the pending civil case should have been included then.
City Legal Officer Jerone Castillo said they should wait for the civil case since it would be “absurd” if the RTC will rule in favor of the mayor and might eventually be held administratively liable by the DILG.
He added that it should be the court that has the final arbiter on the issue.
Buendia filed administrative and civil cases before the Malacañang and the court against Rama for the alleged unlawful demolition of a center median and street lighting project in his barangay.
But Ben Militar, Buendia’s lawyer, said their prayers in the civil case is different from the administrative case.
In the civil case, he said they want the city to pay for damages to the barangay and the contractor and to restore the median structure while the admin complaint asked for the suspension of Rama.
The hearing will continue today at the Civil Service Commission Office in Sudlon Lahug.
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