Dad raises potential violations of gathering

SunStar Cebu City
SunStar Cebu City

THE Barug Team Rama convergence that took place on Wednesday, June 12, 2024, at the Plaza Sugbo Grounds has drawn criticism from a local legislator.

In an interview on Friday, June 14, 2024, Cebu City Councilor Pastor “Jun” Alcover said there might have been a misuse of government resources.

He said Kristian “Ian” Hassamal, current head of the Department of General Services, a close associate of preventively suspended Mayor Michael Rama, had instructed City Hall personnel, including tanods, lupons, garbage collectors and loaders receiving honoraria, to attend the event.

The message read: “Good morning. Please advise all personnel receiving honoraria sa (from the) City, particularly sa tanods, lupons and garbage driver and loader to attend the June 12 Independence Mass at Plaza Sugbo 5 p.m. as per instruction of lan Hassamal.”

Alcover questioned the potential use of government vehicles during the event and the involvement of the City Government, especially since the gathering was held outside City Hall.

If government vehicles had been used, he said, that would be another issue, as Rama is prohibited from using government resources while serving his six-month suspension order.

However, Alcover admitted he didn’t receive any reports of any “misuse” of government resources, but he raised concerns over Hassamal’s authority to issue such a directive.

Rama, in a phone interview on Saturday, June 15, opted not to comment on the matter.

“Unsa may i-comment nako nga igo raman ko niadto (What am I supposed to say when I only showed up),” he said.

However, he pointed out that he is still the elected mayor.

Alcover said it was now up to Acting Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia to investigate the matter to determine if violations were committed.

“It will now depend on what action the acting mayor will take because I am not involved,” he said in Cebuano, adding that he was not invited to the event.

Rama, along with members of the Barug Team Rama, gathered at the Plaza Sugbo Grounds to celebrate Independence Day last Wednesday.

The only elected official who attended the event was City Councilor Donaldo Hontiveros, who is now the acting vice mayor.

SunStar Cebu tried to obtain Hassamal’s comment, but to no avail.

As to reports that two of his allies have abandoned him, Rama was pragmatic. “Kung manghawa man gani sila, wa tay mahimo (There’s nothing I can do if they want to leave).”

He also opted not to comment on Alcover’s statement last Friday, June 14, in which the latter declared his independence from Partido Barug and confirmed his withdrawal from Rama’s party.

Rama said that after all he is an independent mayor, without going into details. / AML


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