Thursday , June 21, 2018

Cuenco ready to vacate post, fight to prove innocence

CEBU City Councilor James Anthony Cuenco is willing to make a sacrifice in the pursuit of having a new majority in the City Council while fighting the case dismissing him from public service.

In a news conference yesterday, Cuenco said he filed a petition for review on certiorari with prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and injunction before the Court of Appeals (CA).

But if the legal reprieve he is seeking will take time, Cuenco said he is willing to resign from his post so his political group can endorse his replacement, as provided for under the Local Government Code.

“I’m seriously considering it if we will see that it will delay the process. If it will hasten, why not, so that they will be spared from all this agony. I am willing to give way, but I will still fight because I want to prove my innocence because I really have nothing to do with this anomaly,” he said.

Cuenco questioned the decision of the Office of the Ombudsman in the criminal and administrative complaints filed against him over the implementation of the Tony N’ Tommy (TNT) program in 2001, which was funded by the Priority Development Assistance Fund of his father, former Cebu City south district congressman Antonio Cuenco.

The TNT program granted medical assistance to indigent patients in Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center.

Barug Team Rama allies expressed their support to Cuenco.

Councilor Joel Garganera said they will wait for the decision of the CA on Cuenco’s appeal.

Although Cuenco doesn’t want to think about it, Councilor Pastor Alcover believes that Mayor Tomas Osmeña had a hand in the councilor’s dismissal.

Osmeña, however, denied it.

Labella, for his part, said the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) should have observed due process by allowing Cuenco to file his motion for reconsideration before serving the dismissal order last Tuesday afternoon.

Labella, a lawyer reminded DILG of the provisions of the Ombudsman Act and Administrative Order No. 7, which gives opportunity to a party adversely affected by the decision of the anti-graft office to file a motion for reconsideration. (RVC)