Thursday, May 23, 2019

Rama now back as mayor; 60-day suspension ends

CEBU City Mayor Michael Rama reported back to his office Monday, February 8, as the 60-day suspension imposed on him by the Office of the President in December last year has ended.

Rama’s suspension was an offshoot of the administrative complaint filed by Barangay Labangon chief Vic Buendia over the allegedly unlawful demolition of a median structure or center island and a street-lighting project on Katipunan St.

Rama was welcomed by his supporters at the City Hall, where a thanksgiving mass was held Monday morning.

Some employees of the City Hall even wore “SuperMike Return” shirts, as they welcomed him with big smiles. There were also streamers welcoming Rama back at City Hall.

In his message Monday, Rama thanked the City Hall employees, his supporters and barangay officials who stood by him when he was suspended. He also thanked City Legal Officer, lawyer Jerone Castillo, for defending him.

In an interview Sunday, Rama told Sun.Star Cebu that he did not feel he was suspended at all, because he kept on moving around and serving the people.

“I keep myself busy. That is precisely I didn’t even think nga hapit na ang otso (the eighth was approaching)... I felt I was not suspended because I didn’t deserve a suspension, too,” he said.

Last December, Rama said he was busy during Christmas going around and attending the Misa de Gallo.

Last January, he was on top of the preparation of the Sinulog celebration, being chairman of the Sinulog Foundation Inc. He was also active in the City Government’s preparation for the 51st International Eucharistic Congress.

“I was not hiding also because there is a saying the wicked will flee but the innocent, like me, is as bold as a lion and that is what I have been showing to everybody that I am as bold as a lion,” Rama added.

The mayor had said he should have not been suspended, saying he was only acting on the orders of the Department of Public Works and Highways.

Had he not removed the median structure, he said he would have been held responsible for any vehicular accident or death in the area.

Buendia had sued Rama, saying the project secured all the necessary permits and that its demolition was tantamount to grave abuse of authority, among others.

Also during Monday’s thanksgiving mass and program, Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella submitted to Rama a report detailing his accomplishments while he was acting mayor.

“We are looking forward that there will be no more suspension. And I don’t think there is any more reason to suspend the mayor,” Labella said Sunday.

Monday’s event at City Hall was also held to celebrate Family Day Monday, one of the activities leading to the City’s 79th Charter Day. (Sunnex/Princess Dawn Felicitas/Sun.Star Cebu)

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