LAWYER Dale Mordeno said he is hopeful that the Court of Appeals (CA) will issue a writ of preliminary injunction on Tuesday, August 29, covering the six dismissal orders against Mayor Oscar Moreno as the 60-day temporary restraining order (TRO) granted by the CA expires.
"Two weeks ago, nag-file ko ug motion for hearing for the issuance of preliminary injunction, and sa Monday last week, nagfile ko ug memorandum in support for issuance of preliminary injunction, to follow up our request, ato ng gi-comply daan," Mordeno, Moreno’s legal counsel, said.
He added, "From my experience, last minute man na maghatag ang CA, pero dili man sad na mahimo ma-issue kung wala pa na-expire ang TRO, so ayha pa gyud na maissue kung ma-expire na, unya na-timing man na weekends na unya holiday pa gayud."
A preliminary injunction is a remedy from the court that effectively preserves the status quo which, in the case of Moreno, prevents his being dismissed from office while the cases against him is being resolved.
The six Ombudsman orders to dismiss Moreno stemmed from a complaint filed by Antonio Nuñez who filed graft charges against Moreno in 2013 over the supposed unscrupulous lease contract of heavy equipment that Moreno allegedly entered when he was still governor of Misamis Oriental.
Mordeno, however, said the CA has granted their petition to consolidate all the 6 cases against Mayor Moreno as they are all similar, which all involved the capitol's lease of heavy equipment.
The first dismissal order found the mayor guilty of grave misconduct, conduct prejudicial to public interest, serious dishonesty and gross neglect of duty which carried perpetual disqualification from public office.
The dismissal owes to the multiple charges of graft filed against him and seven others, for the lease of heavy equipment without conducting public bidding, when he was still governor of the province.
The Ombudsman said Moreno, and members of the Bids and Committee Awards then Patirick Gabutina, Elsie Lopoy, Rolando Pacuribot, Divina Bade, Cancio Guibone, Leemar Tinagan, and Elmer Wabe are facing 6 counts of violation of Section 3 of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act or Republic Act 3019.
Moreno then filed motion for reconsideration before the Ombudsman, but the 60-day TRO, which was issued last June 28, expires on Tuesday.
Published in the SunStar Cagayan de Oro newspaper on August 29, 2017.