Council touches Purisima case-A A +A
Thursday, July 5, 2012
THE Cebu City Council will intervene in the ongoing case the Cebu City Government filed against Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima.
The Council authorized Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young to represent the body to intervene in the case, expressing the body’s disapproval.
“Mayor Michael Rama did not seek the authority of the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) as evident in the petition as charged...It is important and necessary to intervene in the civil case in order to protect the interest of the SP,” the resolution proposed by Councilor Sisinio Andales read.
But Rama’s allies in the Council abstained from the resolution, except one.
“In my personal view, the SP has no legal standing to file the case so I will abstain,” said Councilor Jose Daluz III, a lawyer.
Councilor Edgardo Labella immediately manifested that he is joining Daluz in the abstention and before Councilor Eduardo Rama Jr. could say his piece, Young already asked him if he is concurring with his Team Rama allies.
Did not abstain
One did not join the abstention, though, and immediately after the Council session adjourned, reporters gathered around Councilor Ronald Cuenco and asked him why he did not abstain from the passing of the resolution.
Cuenco was surprised with the media convergence and asked for a few seconds because he was not ready to be bombarded with questions.
After he composed himself, he claimed that he was not paying attention because he was busy perusing his nine resolutions that were deferred by the Council for one week.
“I don’t know why they are going to do an intervention when it is my office that has been aggrieved and it is not the Council. I didn’t ask them to join me unless they would like to represent Purisima,” was Mayor Rama’s reaction to the resolution of
Daluz agreed, saying the Council is not involved in the case.
There has never been a need for the Council to authorize the mayor in filing a case to protect the interest of the City.
If Rama asked for the Council’s authority in the case involving the heirs of Fr. Vicente Rallos, it was only out of respect then.
But now that there is conflict between the executive and most of the members of the Council then it is a different story.
Rama does not think it will have any effect on the merits of the case, which is a declaratory relief on Purisima’s order installing assistant city treasurer Emma Villarete as in-charge of office of the City Treasurer’s Office.
Kicking me out
As to the abuse of authority complaint that Rep. Tomas Osmeña announced he will be filing against the mayor, Rama said, “Let him do it because he has always been filing, finding time to kick me out as quick as possible.”
Daluz also doubts the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) will take cognizance of the case before the City Government versus Purisima case will be resolved.
Last year, Osmeña also filed a complaint for grave abuse of authority against Rama before the Visayas Ombudsman for barring department heads to appear in a budget hearing before the Cebu City Council.
Rama said he already answered the complaint and there was no abuse of authority.
Osmeña told reporters he prefers to file a case before the DILG 7 this time because “it takes forever” for the anti-graft office to resolve cases.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 05, 2012.