Tomas asks ombud to junk Canturias’ plaint

CEBU City Mayor Tomas Osmeña has asked the anti-graft office to dismiss the complaint filed against him by a former City Hall employee for allegedly appointing two acting mayors when he left for abroad last July.

In his answer to the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas, Osmeña described the accusations of former City Hall employee Aniceto Canturias as false and baseless.

Canturias filed the complaint for violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act (RA) 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt and Practices Act against Osmeña.

Also named respondent of the complaint was City Administrator Veronica Morelos.

Before he left for Japan last July 23 to 27, Osmeña appointed Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella and Morelos as acting mayors through his Memorandum 2106-0732.

Canturias, in his complaint, said he believed that the memorandum designating two acting mayors for the city was irregular.

In response, Osmeña said the memorandum he issued was a mere reiteration of Section 46 of RA 7160, or the Local Government Code, which mandates the vice mayor to automatically assume the duties and functions of the mayor when the latter is on leave or suspended.

As to the inclusion of the name of Morelos in the memorandum, Osmeña said that her designation was construed “differently and maliciously” by the complainant, interpreting it to suit his own definition to create confusion and mislead the office.

Osmeña pointed out that he never intended to designate two acting mayors during his absence.

“The memorandum did not even speak of ACTING MAYORS, thus, the same should not be interpreted contrary to what my intentions were, neither should they put words into my mouth. What is controlling in this case is not the title of the memorandum but the contents of the statements herein,” he added.

For Osmeña, the complaint filed by Canturias is ill-motivated.

He said that he had sued Canturias for libel for allegedly posting malicious imputations on his social media account.

The former City Hall worker’s last salary was also put on hold because he failed to submit his accomplishment report.
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