Mayor says DILG probe a ‘political persecution’-A A +A
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
CAGAYAN de Oro City Mayor Vicente Emano on Tuesday broke his silence after his controversial “no-show” at the first day of a supposed marathon hearing on Monday.
Emano admitted he was not really feeling well on Monday and was advised by his legal counsel, lawyer Francis U. Ku, not to show up at the preliminary hearing set by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
Emano said the DILG’s intention to suspend him is not the main purpose of the investigation. It is to stop him from running for mayor in next year’s mid-term election, Emano added.
“The complainants of the cases filed against me were my opposing parties during the last election, which clearly shows that their motive was to get rid of me,” he said.
Emano believed that the case filed against him by his opponents has clear motives of “political persecution.”
The mayor was accused of negligence and dereliction of duty by complainants Dr. Vincent Tero, Raul Ramon Roa, Celestino Ocio, Teodulfo Lao and Enrico Salcedo of Save CDO Now Movement for defiance of the orders of government agencies, which according to them resulted in the “unparalleled number of deaths and destruction” brought by Tropical Storm Sendong in December 2011.
Also supposed to be discussed during Monday’s hearing are the cases of the Pelaez Bridge painted with purple and Carmen Market versus Jacky Ching.
Lawyer Rannie Palisoc, trial and investigation division officer of DILG, said the order for an investigation came directly from President Benigno Aquino’s office.
“The DILG, as the investigating authority, conducted the preliminary conference and is investigating the case,” Palisoc said.
However, Ku claimed the order for investigation came from newly-appointed DILG Secretary Mar Roxas, which he said is clearly politically motivated.
But Emano said he would like to believe that President Aquino has nothing to do with the case.
“Of all people, why would he single me out? Kung walay ga sul-sol sa iya,” he said.
Emano admitted there is nothing he can do if his opponents “had big influence” to pin him down.
However, he said he is not afraid to face them, citing that he has not done anything wrong.
“The flood was an act of God. What’s important is that the City Government made an immediate response on the after effects of the flood. Houses were built for the Sendong survivors. Preventive measures of future floods and other calamities are now in place, even the President saw what I have done for this city,” Emano said.
During Monday’s hearing, Emano’s supporters, who were wearing purple shirts, came in full force outside the DILG regional office where the hearing was held.
Emano thanked them for the overwhelming support, citing that he was caught by surprise as to the number of people who showed up at the DILG office.
Some of Emano’s supporters from the different barangays in the city went to the venue onboard government-owned green multicabs, which were earlier donated by former Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri.
Some residents were overheard as saying that barangay halls were surely closed after village chiefs and the members of their councils came to the venue in full force.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on September 12, 2012.