VICE MAYOR Antonio Yapha Jr. will remain acting mayor of Toledo City.
This was one of the decisions made by officials of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) 7 during a meeting with Yapha and Mayor John Henry “Sonny” Osmeña yesterday.
The rivals met at the DILG 7 office after the City’s regular and job-order employees held a rally to protest their delayed salaries.
DILG 7 Director Leocardio Trovela also ordered both parties to not sign the checks and payrolls of City employees. That function was given to City Administrator Ferdinand Marquez.
But while he respects the DILG’s decision, Osmeña said he will continue to report to his office as he is the rightful mayor.
“It’s evident that they’re siding with Yapha. They’ve already received the CA decision (clearing Osmeña of grave abuse of authority) but they’re asking for a certified true copy and whatnot,” Osmeña said in Cebuano.
The rallying employees were complaining that they have yet to receive their salaries after two weeks. They were joined by casual and job-order employees who have not received their pay for the past four to five months.
The delay in the release of their salaries was the result of confusion as to who would sign the payroll.
Yapha had said that he should sign it since the DILG authorized him to serve as acting mayor. But while he did sign the payroll, the city treasurer refused to acknowledge it on account that Osmeña should be the signatory.
Yapha reiterated that Osmeña could not sign the payroll unless the DILG issued an order allowing the latter to assume as mayor.
Yapha said he made the mistake of vacating the post when Osmeña returned last May, and he was reprimanded by the DILG for it.
“If the DILG says I should vacate, then I will follow. But if I vacated without DILG’s authority, I could be charged for dereliction of duty,” he said.
Though he was upset by DILG’s decision, Osmeña said he is willing to wait until the CA enforces its order to reinstate him.
“I’m not worried; there is an election in May. I am confident that we will resolve it. I will be reelected as mayor and papha Yapha (will be gone),” he said. (JKV)