AFTER earning his trust and confidence, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña appointed Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella as sole acting mayor starting today until Aug. 14, as he leaves for the United States for his annual medical check up.
Osmeña had appointed Labella and City Administrator Veronica Morelos to take over his executive duties while he was on vacation in Japan last month.
In his regular news conference yesterday, he told reporters that he already announced the appointment of Labella.
“It’s because he (Labella) did not create any trouble. So when I came back, during the flag ceremony, I said, ‘Thank you.’ I’m not as paranoid as the last time,” he said.
The mayor admitted that he was a little worried that with Team Rama member Labella as acting mayor, disorder might arise following his issuing of memoranda ordering the recall of City-issued vehicles and firearms and relieving some personnel, to name a few.
He, however, clarified that Labella’s appointment has nothing to do with the complaint filed against him before the Office of the Ombudsman by former Cebu Business Center head Aniceto “Abbey” Canturias for appointing two acting mayors.
Canturias, in his complaint, said the memorandum issued by Osmeña was “irregular and violates the Local Government Code.”
Asked if he will seek a legal opinion from either his private lawyers or those of City Hall legal counsels, Osmeña said the issue is not important to him.
“I don’t know. I don’t care. I sued him, Abbey, for libel, so he’s just grouchy. I did not pay him his last month’s salary because I asked him to submit his accomplishment report for the last month,” he said.
The mayor said he’s okay with Canturias trying to find loopholes in his administration, but asked for the latter to render reports supporting his active operation as consultant to the mayor.
He said he’s willing to release Canturias’ pending paycheck as long as a justification of the last month’s consultancy is furnished.
“He’s consultant to the mayor. The mayor is not Mike Rama. The mayor is Tomas Osmeña, so what did you do? I’d pay him if he earned it, but my question is, did you earn your salary?” Osmeña asked.