Oro mayor secures TRO vs Ombudsman's dismissal order

THE Court of Appeals (CA) on Wednesday, June 28, has granted Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno's petition for a sixty-day temporary restraining order (TRO) on the implementation of the Ombudsman dismissal order in relation to Moreno’s acts as Misamis Oriental governor.

The CA Special Twenty-Third Division, in its 8-page resolution, said it found the reasons stated by the petitioner to be of "sufficient urgency," thus enjoining the respondents, such as the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Office of the Ombudsman, from enforcing, implementing the dismissal order.

The issued order was signed by Associate Justices Louis Acosta, Edgardo Camello, and Oscar Badelles.

The resolution said considering the motion for reconsideration is pending before the Ombudsman, dismissing Moreno and the others from service "cannot be said to have become final and executory."

"In a Very Urgent Motion for Issuance of Temporary Restraining Order and/or Status Quo Ante, dated June 27,2017, petitioners claim that they they learned that the DILG will carry-out the implementation today, June 27, 2017," the resolution said.

"It is apparent, therefore, that neither a motion for reconsideration nor a petition for review under Rule 43 would constitute an adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law to protect petitioners from what they allege will cause serious damage and irreparable injury because the overwhelming majority who voted for petitioner Moreno and clamored for his incumbency as City Mayor will be duly deprived of his services and representation," it added.

The CA also directed respondents of this case to file their comments on the petition, and to show cause why the application for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction should not be granted, within 10 days from its notice.

It also enjoined the Ombudsman to resolve Moreno's motion for reconsideration "with utmost dispatch".

Moreno gave a speech Wednesday noon before his supporters who had camped outside the City Hall.

"Justice is still very much alive in Cagayan de Oro, and I'm very grateful, the consequences would have been very difficult to imagine. We just have to do our duty, so let's get back work," he said.

Last June 8, the Ombudsman ordered the dismissal of Moreno from service, owing to the multiple charges of graft filed against him and seven others, for the lease of heavy equipment without conducting public bidding, when he was still governor of the province.

Lawyer Dale Mordeno, Moreno's legal counsel, said the fight is still not over as they will still ask for a writ of preliminary injunction before the CA so the TRO's effect would permanent while the case is still being resolved.
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