City councilor returns calamity aid a week after lawyer files complaint

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Thursday, July 10, 2014


CEBU City Councilor Alvin Dizon has decided to return the P20,000 calamity assistance he received from the City Government.

The move came almost a week after an administrative complaint was filed before the Office of the President against Mayor Michael Rama and 12 other City officials, including Dizon.

Dizon turned over the money to the City Treasurer's Office at 11:45 a.m. yesterday.

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“There is a cloud of doubt on the legality of the calamity assistance,” Dizon said when asked why he returned the money.

But he said that he received the funds in good faith. He said he used the money to repair his family’s ancestral house in Ormoc City.

Upon learning about Dizon’s move, lawyer Reymelio Delute, who filed the administrative complaint against the Cebu city officials, said Dizon will remain as one of the respondents.

Defense

“If he thinks it is a good defense, iyaha sad na (that’s up to him),” he added.

Dizon said he knows that he will not be exempted from the case since it has already been filed. “I am willing to face the consequences, whatever will be the decision of the Office of the President,” he added.

Last July 3, Delute filed a complaint before the Office of the President accusing the city officials of grave misconduct and abuse of authority for distributing last year P20,000 as calamity cash aid to every Cebu City official and employee.

In his complaint, Delute said the mayor “fabricated” calamity victims, including himself.

Calamities

The financial assistance was distributed in December last year following a magnitude-7.2 earthquake and super typhoon Yolanda.

Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella, one of the respondents in the complaint, said the giving of cash aid was legal. He said the appropriation, included in a supplemental budget ordinance, followed the right process.

The complaint also included Councilors Mary Ann de los Santos, Nestor Archival Sr., Dave Tumulak, Nendell Hans Abella, Sisinio Andales, Alvin Arcilla, Roberto Cabarrubias, Nida Cabrera, Alvin Dizon, Eugenio Gabuya Jr. and Noel Eleuterio Wenceslao.

Councilors Margarita Osmeña, Lea Japson, Richard Osmeña, James Cuenco and Phillip Zafra were not included in the complaint.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 11, 2014.

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