PRESIDENTIAL Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino will file complaints against Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña should the latter “persist in defaming his name.”

In a statement, Dino’s chief of staff Jonji Gonzales said the former maintained that he does not want to recommend anyone in Barangay Ermita, as it is the job of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

“He will file criminal and civil case against the mayor for senselessly dragging his name into the mud. Plainly, there’s no obstruction of justice to speak of because Dino is just monitoring the situation in Ermita to make sure that basic services shall not be sacrificed in the event that temporary vacancy occurs,” Gonzales said.

Osmeña said yesterday morning that he will file a case before the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas against Dino for obstruction of justice after the latter reportedly asked suspended Ermita village chief Felicisimo Rupinta to recommend his replacement.

In an interview last Saturday, Rupinta said he sent his recommendation of two persons, both residents of Ermita, to the Office of the President after Dino asked for it.

Osmeña also wants Dino preventively suspended for six months.

“Rupinta was given a preventive suspension and the purpose of that is to prevent you from interfering in your investigation. But by having Dino tell Rupinta, ‘Who do you want as your replacement?’is counterproductive and paves the way for obstructing your own investigation because you’re now allowed to find your own replacement,” he said.

But Dino for his part, said, “Mayor Osmeña should be educated that the only office that is vested with the authority to appoint temporary replacement of the suspended barangay officials is the DILG, with the authority of the President.”

Along with Rupinta, Barangay Councilors Mark Rizaldy Miral, Antonieto Flores, Ryan Jay Rosas, Alio Tamundo, Domingo Ando, Maria Bianghug and Wilbert Flores were suspended for six months after they allegedly failed to cooperate with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency during a drug raid last Nov. 6.

Osmeña said he is putting Ermita on another 24-hour observation.

In the event that a caretaker has not assumed office by Monday, Osmeña will assign Carbon Public Market administrator Atty. Winifredo Orcullo Jr. to serve as acting village chief.

He will be accompanied by a police detachment headed by SPO1 Adonis Dumpit, he said.

“I can’t be Pontius Pilate and just wash my hands. For the good of the city and the barangay, I’ll do it. Hopefully, they (the President) can make a decision by then,” he said.

Sought for his comment, DILG 7 Director Rene Burdeos told SunStar Cebu in a text message yesterday that his office has not received any recommendations from Dino.