“Welcome Back” banners greet Rama’s return to City Hall
“Welcome Back” banners greeted Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama this morning when he returned to City Hall to mark the end of his 60-day suspension.
The banners and streamers were posted in several areas inside and outside of City Hall. Rama’s first order of business was to attend the 7 a.m.
Thanksgiving Mass officiated by Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma at the Plaza Sugbo grounds that adjoins the Cith Hall building.
Also present were city employees who came to celebrate their Family Day, which is one of the city’s activities leading to its Charter Day celebration on Feb. 24.
In his homily, Palma reminded the city employees of the importance of humility in a family for them to grow and be peaceful. He also told the employees to always use the words “please,” “thank you” and “sorry” with talking with family members.
After the Mass, Rama went up on stage where the altar was set up and hugged Palma. Rain began to pour towards the end of the Mass.
Later on, Rama had breakfast with Palma and Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella at the vice mayor’s office.
Rama left shortly thereafter but returned at around 11 a.m. for the ceremonial turnover of the mayoral’s post to Rama from Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella, who assumed as acting mayor during Rama’s suspension.
Labella said there was no need for an order from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) to reinstate Rama.
“It’s automatic. The DILG explicitly states that the preventive suspension was only for 60 days.
Mayor Rama has to be back today unless he is on official leave or else he can be charge of abandonment of office,” said Labella, a Rama ally. Rama and Labella are both seeking reelection this May under the local party Team Rama, which is allied with the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
Malacañang ordered Rama preventively suspended for 60 days in December last year after a complaint of abuse of authority was lodged against him by Labangon Barangay Captain Victor Buendia over the alleged unlawful removal of a barangay-funded center island project.
The case is still pending with the DILG, with the proceedings temporarily halted due to the ban on administrative investigations within the election period
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