Ombudsman gives Osmeña 10 days to explain ‘office stripping’

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)

THE Ombudsman Visayas has given former mayor Tomas Osmena 10 days to reply to the charges filed against him for stripping the Cebu City Mayor’s Office of its furnishings.

Pericles Dakay, owner of Dakay Construction whose workers cleared the mayor’s office, was also asked to submit his counter-affidavit.

Osmeña’s executive assistant Raymund Paul Climaco Taboada was also ordered to respond to the charges.

The Ombudsman, in a resolution dated July 31, 2019 that was signed by Deputy Ombudsman Paul Elmer Clemente, found basis to proceed with the criminal and administrative investigation of the cases.

Mejelito Cajes, head of the Building Maintenance Section (BMS), filed the complaint on behalf of the City Government for conduct prejudicial to the best interest of public service, conduct unbecoming of public official, grave misconduct, gross neglect of duty and violation of the code of conduct and ethical standard for public official and employees.

Last June 28, a Dakay Construction team cleared the mayor’s office of its fixtures, furniture, cabinets, even down to the floor tiles.

The new mayor, Edgardo Labella, was to assume office at noon of June 30. The mayor’s office is located on the eighth floor of City Hall’s legislative building.

Osmeña claimed in Facebook posts that what were removed were his personal properties.

The former mayor said he had spent P2 million from personal funds and contributions from friends for his office at the City Hall.

He wrote Labella after the Ombudsman complaint was filed, asking that he be allowed to restore his former office to what it was in 2016. Labella’s camp denied his request. (From PAC of Superbalita Cebu/MVG)


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