CAGAYAN de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno said he welcomes the Office of the Ombudsman's decision to file graft charges against him and another city official saying he is ready to face trial before the Sandiganbayan.

Moreno on Thursday went about his usual business, leading the turnover of a three-storey building with 18 classrooms for the more than 1,000 students at Lumbia National High School.

The mayor said facing the trial would mean that his side would finally be heard, which he said the Ombudsman failed to do.

"Counter-affidavits are very essential, and fundamental, and imagine the Ombudsman deciding to dismiss me even without hearing me, they disregarded me," he said.

"I do not wish to pick a quarrel with the Ombudsman but of course the matter now being with Sandigan, I welcome that because in the hands of the Sandigan, they will realize that I was denied my fundamental right to due process, I was not heard, and yet I was convicted," Moreno adds.

A statement by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales on Wednesday said she found probable cause to file graft charges against Moreno and officer-in-charge of the City Treasurer’s Office Glenn Banez for the two officials’ unlawful agreement with Ajinomoto Philippines Corporation concerning the latter’s tax liabilities.

Moreno, however, maintained that he was not aware of the tax settlement, but pointed out that had he known at the time, he would not have stopped Bañez and would have congratulated him as the action resulted to more revenues for the city.

Regarding his other case with the Ombudsman in which he was meted with a three-month suspension, Moreno said the temporary restraining order (TRO) might have expired but the case has not been fully resolved.

On Tuesday, the 60-day TRO issued by the Court of Appeals (CA) preventing Moreno’s suspension expired prompting critics to call for Moreno’s, along with City Budget officer lawyer Percy Salazar and City Accountant Beda Joy Elot, suspension.

"Yes the TRO has expired pero the case is still pending, it's not as if that the case has expired, that the case has expired too and that my terms had also expired too. In fact, the DILG (Department of Interior and Local Government) has sought the comment of CA aware that there is still a pending case in the CA, a matter of clarifying what's next, let's wait whatever decision it will render," Moreno said.

But Moreno admitted that compared before, tension at the City Hall is palpably less, thanks to the election of Vice-Mayor Rainier Joaquin "Kikang" Uy, a Moreno ally.

Moreno, however, said Uy should be prepared to takeover along with City Councilor Zaldy Ocon, he insists, who be vice-mayor based on the rules of succession.