Osmeña, 37 others to face graft, theft raps

CEBU. Acting on the wishes of outgoing Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, some 20 men removed the ceiling, tiles and other fixtures from his office in City Hall on Thursday night, June 27, 2019. Incoming mayor Edgardo Labella called “the ruin of the city mayor’s office” a “shocker.” (Alan Tangcawan)

FORMER Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, his personal assistant, a government officer, three City Hall employees and 32 “John Does” are set to face criminal and administrative charges for vandalizing the city mayor’s office.

The City Legal Office will file the case on Friday, July 5, 2019, before the Ombudsman Visayas.

City Legal Officer Rey Gealon said violations of Article 308 of the Revised Penal Code for theft and of Section 3(e) of Republic Act 3019 will be filed against Osmeña, former personal assistant to the mayor Raymund Paul Climaco Taboada, Department of General Services head Ronald Malacora, City Planning Development Office personnel Cindy Montermoso, Jim Paul Saavedra and another one who was identified as “Anne,” and 32 “John Does” who work for Dakay Construction and Development Corporation and the security officer of the Proteger Security Agency.

They all allegedly conspired in vandalizing the Office of the Mayor located at the 8th floor of Cebu City Hall Annex building.

Gealon cited Section 3(e) of RA 3019 in citing Osmeña and the others for “Causing any undue injury to any party, including the Government, or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his official administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence.”

“Atong gibarogan nga kadtong mga properties nga gi-attach sa immovable sama sa ceiling, tiles, toilet bowl, lababo, electrical wiring and plumbing connection as defined under Article 415 of the Civil Code are themselves part of the immovable kon gipanag-iya na kini sa Cebu City Government,” Gealon added.

It was Malacora who allegedly gave clearance so these people will be able to bring out the things they vandalized out of City Hall, he said.

As of Wednesday night, the Department of Engineering and Public Works still could not determine the cost of the damage, an important information for the filing of the case.

Osmeña, for his part, earlier said he will face all charges that will be thrown against him or his people in relation to the things that he took from the mayor’s office which he said were “personal property.”

Osmeña said that in 2001 when he replaced then mayor Alvin Garcia, the 8th floor of the Cebu City Hall was still cement and walls.

In fact, the offices did not have partitions.

When Vice Mayor Michael Rama became mayor in 2010, Rama did not occupy the 8th floor but instead set up his own Office of the Mayor at the ground floor of the Executive Building.

The 8th floor became the receiving area for very important persons (VIPs).

When he defeated Rama in 2016, Osmeña decided to hold office at the 8th floor and asked for P2 million from the City Council for the renovation of the former VIP area. The Council, which was then headed by vice mayor and now Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella, denied his request.

Osmeña said he used his personal money for the renovation through the help of friends who are contractors and suppliers.

“What I really did was (that) I spent for it; I took it out. I am restoring the area to what it was all the way back to 2001,” Osmeña was quoted as saying.

Superbalita Cebu tried to call engineer Pericles Dakay who owns the construction firm through his phone but the latter did not take the call.


Because of what Osmeña did, Gealon does not know where to hold office.

Carpentry work at the former office of Rama when he was mayor has not even started. Labella has been staying at his old office but has only until Friday, July 5, there because Vice Mayor Rama would have to move in.

Labella is now looking at setting up a table at the 8th floor while his things will be placed at the ground floor. (VLA)


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