Mayor won’t stop Sinulog executive director from leaving

CEBU City Mayor Tomas Osmeña has no plans of blocking Ricky Ballesteros’s intention to step down as executive director of the Sinulog Foundation Inc. (SFI).

“He said he wants to go. I’m not going to stop him,” he said in a news conference yesterday.

Ballesteros, who has held the position for the past 15 years, has expressed his intention to resign from the SFI.

However, he will still remain as a commissioner of the Cebu City Sports Center.

In a separate interview, Ballesteros told reporters that he is leaving his post due to personal reasons, and not because the mayor hinted at allegations of corruption in the SFI.

“I spoke with the mayor last Friday. I’m not getting any younger and somebody has to continue. It’s high time to let someone else run the Sinulog,” he said.

Ballesteros added that he had already planned to leave his post back when the SFI was chaired by former mayor Michael Rama.

“Since then, ganahan na ko mo-resign and at the same time, last year, nisulti na sad ko nga mo-resign ko but they asked me to stay to train somebody,” he said.

Ballesteros initially wanted to have his resignation take effect on April 30, but decided to wait until SFI has finished auditing the expenses it incurred for this year’s Sinulog celebration. He said the auditing might take a month to be completed.

Last week, Osmeña hinted an alleged mishandling of funds in the past years after revealing that Sinulog 2018 earned around P12 million.

Ballesteros, though, emphasized that the figures presented by the mayor were not yet final and official.

“I spoke with him the last time and informed him of the P12 million. Di pa to final. I have the records for 2016 to 2017. Sa 2018 wa pa. Fiscal year will end by March 31 so after, that’s the time we will be conducting the audit,” he said.

The mayor, too, wants to have the auditing finished to “remove personal touch” on the handling of SFI’s funds.

Ask for Ballesteros’s replacement, Osmeña said it will be collectively decided by the SFI board of directors, which he currently chairs.

“I can’t just appoint a king. Nindot gyod ang teamwork. Kinahanglan ta mopili og tawo nga acceptable sa tanan aron naay sustainability, continuity,” he said. (RTF)
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