AT LEAST six lawyers were handpicked by Cebu City mayor-elect and outgoing Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella to head the different departments of the City Government under his administration.
Labella, a lawyer himself, will appoint four of his partners at the EC Labella and Partners law office as heads of important departments when he assumes the post on June 30, 2019.
They are Floro Casas Jr., Rey Gealon, Jerone Castillo and June Maratas.
The other lawyers are Maru Salvatierra and Mark Salomon.
Casas, who has been managing Labella’s law firm since he was elected vice mayor in 2013, will be appointed as city administrator.
For his part, Gealon will be the city attorney. Gealon was the executive director of the Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO) in 2015.
Castillo, a certified public accountant and the city attorney when vice mayor-elect Michael Rama was city mayor, will head the City Treasurer’s Office.
The Department of General Services will be headed by Maratas.
Salvatierra, a junior partner, will also be in Labella’s team, possibly as the chief of staff.
She used to be with the City Attorney’s Office before she transferred to the Office of the Vice Mayor as executive assistant, designated as the chief of staff.
Labella announced the names of the incoming department heads in his Facebook post dated June 21, 2019.
“To ensure that our administration would follow the rule of law, I will be appointing the following lawyers and professionals as heads of departments and offices (first batch) of the Cebu City Government when I assume office on June 30, 2019,” his post read.
Other incoming department heads are Salomon, former city accountant, as the city budget officer and University of San Carlos professor Jerome Ornopia as the city accountant. Dr. Daisy Villa will return to the City Health Department as its chief.
Among the incumbent department heads, only engineer Kenneth Enriquez will retain her post as head of the Department of Engineering and Public Works. Architect Florante Catalan was named head of the Office of the Building Official.
As of Monday, June 24, Labella has yet to name the new city assessor and head of the CCTO, among other departments. He said he would announce in the coming days the rest of the department heads and executive department officials who will help him run City Hall. (From PAC of SuperBalita Cebu, LRC)