Rama files motion for reconsideration

CEBU. Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama.
CEBU. Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama.Photo by Arkeen Larisma

SUSPENDED Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama filed a motion for reconsideration and compliance on June 3, 2024, before the Court of Appeals (CA) Special 10th Division in Manila concerning its May 17, 2024 resolution.

Meanwhile, the Rama Baena Tan and Ang (RBTA) Law Offices formally appeared as counsel for Rama, suspended city administrator Collin Rosell and his wife, suspended city assessor Maria Theresa Rosell.

In its May 17 resolution, the CA dismissed Rama and seven other officials’ certiorari petition, which aimed to halt their suspension by the Office of the Ombudsman.

The decision was signed by lawyer Rosario Rhea Mea Binalla, the executive clerk of Court III for the CA Special 10th Division.

The CA dismissed the petition because it lacked valid reasons for not first requesting a motion for reconsideration of the Ombudsman’s order before filing the current petition.

Additionally, the Court observed that the petitioners did not provide the original transaction receipts from the private courier as evidence of mailing the petition.

Rama’s camp, however, in its June 3 motion for reconsideration, maintained that they cited meritorious grounds in filing the petition before the Office of the Ombudsman.

They added that electronic copies of the original transaction receipts from the private courier were electronically filed with the petition as proof of emailing. This, according to Rama’s camp, equals substantial compliance under the Rules on Electronic Evidence.

“The Office of the Ombudsman denied repeated official requests for the certified true copy of the preventive suspension order and other supporting documents relevant to the case,” it added.

The Office of the Ombudsman ordered a six-month preventive suspension for Rama, City Administrator Collin Rosell, Office of the City Assessor Officer-in-Charge Dr. Maria Theresa Rosell, Francis May Jacaban of the City Legal Office, Assistant Department Head for Operations Angelique Cabugao, Admin Division Head Jay-ar Pescante, Assessment of Records Management Division Head Lester Joey Beniga, and Computer Division Head Nelyn Sanrojo for failing to pay the salaries of four city employees.

The RBTA Law office also clarified that only Rama and the couple, Rosell, elevated the case before the CA and that the inclusion of the names of lawyer Francis May Jacaban et. al. in the May 10 petition was “a mere inadvertence and clerical error.”

The counsel urged the CA to intervene to protect the petitioners’ rights and address the Ombudsman’s alleged abuses.

They also presented facts indicating that the preventive suspension order is unconstitutional and illegal, highlighting situations where the order is clearly invalid, such as lack of jurisdiction, uselessness of a motion for reconsideration, deprivation of due process, urgency for relief, nullity of lower court proceedings, ex parte proceedings, lack of opportunity to object, purely legal issues, or involvement of public interest. / AML

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