Rama, 7 others recommended for preventive suspension

Cebu City Mayor Michael “Mike” Rama.
Cebu City Mayor Michael “Mike” Rama.File photo

THE Office of the Ombudsman has recommended the prevention suspension for six months of Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama and seven others for allegedly not providing some City Hall employees their salaries.

Recommended suspended along with Rama are City Administrator Collin Rosell, Office of the City Assessor OIC Dr. Maria Theresa Rosell, Legal Officer designated assistant department head Francis May Jacaban, designated assistant department head for operations Angelique Cabugao, designated admin division head Jay-ar Pescante, designated assessment of records management division head Lester Joey Beniga, and Computer Division head Nelyn Sanrojo.

The recommendation came after Filomena E. Atuel, Maria Almicar E. Diongzon, Sybil Ann R. Ybañez, and Chito B. Dela Cerna filed a criminal and administrative complaint on February 23, 2024 against the respondents for violations of Section 3(e) and (1) of Republic Act (RA) 3019, also known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, as well as for Grave Misconduct, Conduct Unbecoming of a Public Officer, Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service, Grave Abuse of Authority (Oppression), and Violation of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.

In a 10-page resolution signed by Ombudsman Samuel Martires and issued on May 2, 2024, the office found sufficient grounds to grant the complainants’ prayer for the issuance of an order for preventive suspension against the city officials.

The Ombudsman also said that the order is “immediately executory” under Section 27(1) of RA 6770.

Even if the respondents file motions, appeals, or petitions seeking relief, the order’s implementation cannot be stopped unless directed otherwise by the Office of the Ombudsman, or a court of competent jurisdiction.

In a phone interview on Wednesday, May 8, 2024, Rama said he is not aware of it.

“I have no idea,” Rama said.

He questioned why there could be any preventive suspension for him when he did not even receive a copy of any complaint.

Rama said that if there is indeed a preventive suspension, his lawyers will handle it.

The complaint stemmed from the reassignments of the four complainants.

The four complainants were working under the City Assessor's Officer, but on May 17, 2023, they were reassigned to different offices, respectively. They deemed the transfer illegal and in violation of the 2016 Omnibus Rules on Appointments and Other Human Resource Actions.

On June 16 and 19, 2023, the complainants made an appeal to the Civil Service Commission Region 7. (AML)


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