CEBU City Mayor Tomas Osmeña clarified he has nothing to do with the medical assistance program that made Councilor James Cuenco guilty of serious dishonesty and grave misconduct for using falsified documents in the disbursement of public funds.
This, as Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella believes that due process should be observed before the dismissal order of Cuenco is served.
In his news conference yesterday, Osmeña said the only participation he had was when he suggested naming the program as Tony N’ Tommy (TNT). Osmeña said that former Cebu City South District representative Antonio Cuenco informed him of the program and suggested that it will be named using their first names.
“I just want to make it clear they’re making it appear that Cuenco is beleaguered. I feel that I was cheated because they used my name as part of a scam,” the mayor told reporters.
Osmeña said he doesn’t want to be dragged into the controversy Cuenco is facing because he did not refer even a single patient to the program.
Cuenco was the chief of staff and administrator of the TNT program in 2001, which distributed medical assistance charged to the Priority Development Assistance Fund of his father, former congressman Tony Cuenco, to indigent patients in Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center.
Asked why he chose to suggest the name, Osmeña said it was only for projection purposes.
“Because it’s Tony N’ Tommy, it looks like I’m included but actually, I don’t have any hand in that. It’s for projection, for PR (press release) only. I just have to ride with it but I wasn’t aware that it’s a scam,” he said.
Meanwhile, Labella said the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) should have waited for Cuenco to file his motion for reconsideration before serving the dismissal order.
Labella, who is also a former Ombudsman official, said that under Republic Act 6770 or the Ombudsman Act and the Administrative Order No. 7, all administrative disciplinary cases, orders, directives, or decisions of the Office of the Ombudsman may be appealed to the Supreme Court by filing a petition for certiorari within 10 days from receipt of the written notice of the order, directive or decision or denial of the motion for reconsideration, in accordance with Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.
Cuenco said that his lawyers filed the motion for reconsideration last Thursday while his dismissal order was served last Wednesday. (RVC)
Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on October 07, 2017.
Latest issues of SunStar Cebu also available on your mobile phones, laptops, and tablets. Subscribe to our digital editions at epaper.sunstar.com.ph and get a free seven-day trial.