Ex-consultant asks Palace: Suspend Tom

A FORMER Cebu City Hall consultant has asked the Office of the President to preventively suspend Mayor Tomas Osmeña, following the case he filed after the mayor recently appointed two acting mayors.

Aniceto Canturias filed administrative complaints for grave misconduct and abuse of authority against the mayor, whom he also accused of violating Republic Act (RA) 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical standards for Public Officials and Employees.

Sought for his comment, Mayor Osmeña said that Canturias is just “sour-graping.” The mayor did not comment further but said that his lawyers will handle the matter.

Before he left for a vacation in Japan last July 23 to 27, the mayor appointed Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella and Acting City Administrator Veronica Morelos as acting mayors through his Memorandum No. 2106-0732.

Starting today, however, only Labella will serve as acting mayor while Osmeña travels to the United States for his annual check-up.

In his complaint-affidavit, Canturias said that Osmeña is liable for grave misconduct as he has willfully violated the law, particularly Sections 46 and 480 of RA 7160 or the Local Government Code.

The misconduct that Canturias alleged was committed by the mayor “is grave and serious.”

“Under RA 7160, the city mayor shall enforce all laws and ordinances relative to the governance of the city. Thus, when the city mayor issued the questioned memorandum, which is in gross violation of existing laws and regulations, he excessively exercised the authority reposed upon him,” reads a portion of the complaint.

Canturias said that preventive suspension should be imposed because the mayor has the power to exert influence or undue pressure on potential witnesses against him.

Canturias said he believes the memorandum designating two acting mayors for the city is irregular. He has also lodged a separate complaint against Osmeña before the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas.
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