Is Ortega resigning?

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Sunday, July 6, 2014


SOURCES at the Capitol said that Provincial Attorney Orvi Ortega had submitted his letter of resignation to Gov. Hilario Davide III as member of the bids and awards committee over the weekend. However, the governor had not acted on it because he was too busy in his provincial sorties. The governor might announce the resignation of Ortega after his State of the Province Address today.

If, indeed, this is true, then I appreciate Ortega’s move. I would even congratulate him because he knows the meaning of “delicadeza.” Even if he continues to deny that he did not make money out of that controversial bidding for a security provider at the Capitol, his integrity as the former chairman of the BAC has already been questioned.

At least, he will also spare the governor from further public criticisms.
He is a lawyer but he did not follow the legal procedure in conducting the bidding.

I may sound like a broken record but time and again, I would say that Black Pearl Security Agency was not foolish enough to take over without getting assurance from Ortega and OIC Provincial General Services Office Chief Jone Seigfred Sepe. After the matter was exposed, the two were pinpointing each other and denying their role in that scuttled bidding.

Mosaludar ko kung ihinayon ni Ortega ang iyang pagdimiter isip membro sa BAC kay maka-usa ka higayon niana iya nang namansahan ang pangalan sa halandong gobernador kinsa misubay gyud sa kampaniya batok sa kurapsiyon nga gitawag og “subay sa tul-id nga dalan.” Mao nay labing tukma, haum ug labing matarong nga imong himoon, Atty. Ortega. Huwat gihapon ko sa imong libel, ha.

***

The administrative case filed by a certain Atty. Reymelio Delute before the Office of the President against Mayor Michael Rama, Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella and 12 members of the City Council is a little bit confusing, complicated and funny. Delute filed a case of grave misconduct and abuse of authority against Rama et al for approving a resolution that extended calamity assistance to all City Hall officials and employees last December after two calamities--the 7.9 magnitude earthquake and typhoon Yolanda--hit the Visayas region.

Under the law, only the Office of the President can impose administrative sanction against governors and mayors of highly-urbanized cities. Delute claimed that the officials had connived to approve the resolution that granted each City Hall employee P20,000 when Cebu was not severely affected by the two calamities. The resolution was approved unanimously. Councilors Mary Ann Delos Santos and James Cuenco were absent in that particular session.

However, Delute exempted Councilors Margot Osmeña, Lea Japson, Richie Osmeña and James Cuenco in his complaint.

Here is the funny thing about it. He exempted Margot and Japson because they did not claim their assistance. But they voted in favor of the resolution. Cuenco was absent, but he claimed his share. Richie Osmeña also voted and got his assistance. How come Delute included in his complaint Delos Santos when, like Cuenco, she was absent but also claimed her share? He included Delos Santos but exempted Cuenco? Where is the logic there? Morag mabayot ko ani boang.

The perception is that former Mayor Tomas Osmeña is behind Delute’s move. He is reportedly a BOPK loyalist. He ran for barangay captain in Basak San Nicolas in the last barangay election but lost to George Rama. Some BOPK councilors that were included in the charge were disappointed by Delute’s move. They felt they were stabbed in the back by their party’s titular head.

But whether Delute is a pawn of Osmeña, those charged should not be complacent about the case. Malacañang might be playing politics.

Remember, Mike is not an administration ally. I foresee a possible scenario here. Malacañang might resolve this case when the 2016 elections are approaching by placing those charged under preventive suspension during the campaign period.

Remember this is only an administrative case and what is needed is just a preponderance of evidence. So, Mike can no longer use government resources to advance his political positioning. And if that will happen, Margot will become the OIC mayor because she got the highest votes in last year’s election second to Nestor Archival, a BOPK ally. But Archival is one of those charged. You get my point?

(bobby.nalzaro@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 07, 2014.

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