CEBU City Mayor Tomas Osmeña has recommended three names to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)-Central Visayas to possibly replace suspended Barangay Ermita chief Felicisimo Rupinta.

Rupinta was suspended for six months along with his seven councilors -- Marky Rizaldy Miral, Antonieto Flores, Ryan Jay Rosas, Alio Tamundo, Domingo Ando, Maria Bianghug and Wilbert Flores -- after they allegedly failed to cooperate with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency during a drug raid in 2016.

READ: Ombud suspends Cebu village chief, 7 councilors

Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas Paul Elmer Clemente signed the suspension order, saying the evidence of guilt is strong against the respondents, who are facing administrative cases of grave misconduct, gross neglect of duty, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.

Eyed to replace Rupinta are Senior Police Officer 3 Adonis Dumpit, former City councilor Augustus "Jun" Pe, and Tejero barangay captain Jessielou Cadungog.

Osmeña said he included Dumpit in the choices because he is the most feared policeman of the drug lords. Pe, on the other hand, is three-termer councilor who headed the anti-drug council of the City, while Cadungog has managed well his barangay, that's why Tejero did not encounter any major problem.

Lawyer Aisha Fiel Nogra, DILG-Central Visayas legal officer, told reporters that following Rupinta's suspension, Osmeña sent a letter to the DILG regarding the fate of Barangay Ermita.

But Nogra added that it is up to President Rodrigo Duterte if he will appoint a caretaker for the village. (JKV/SunStar Cebu)