Rama’s brothers-in-law arrested

Rama’s brothers-in-law arrested
SunStar Local News GPX

TWO brothers-in-law of Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama were arrested last Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024 for falsification of public documents, specifically on their personal data sheet.

The Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) Branch 6 had issued a warrant of arrest against Gomer Gimenez Mandanat and Elmer Gimenez Mandanat for falsification under Article 172 in relation to Article 171 (No. 4) of the Revised Penal Code.

Article 172 of the Revised Penal Code stipulates that any individual who commits any falsification enumerated in Article 171 and who commits falsification to the damage of a third party or with the intent to cause damage will face a penalty of prision correccional in its medium and maximum periods and a fine of not more than P5,000.

In this case, the court specified the fourth item in Article 171 which was “making untruthful statements in a narration of facts.”

The warrant of arrest, issued last Feb. 5, was signed by MTCC Presiding Judge Bernadeth Bisoc.

According to the arrest warrant obtained by SunStar Cebu, the court imposed a recommended bond for the provisional liberty of Gomer and Elmer in the amount of P36,000 each.

It was also stated in the arrest warrant that the arraignment and pre-trial conference for Gomer and Elmer’s case would be on Feb. 22.

The Bureau of Immigration and National Bureau of Investigation were also given a copy of the warrant of arrest.


A complaint was filed against Rama on Jan. 24, 2023 for alleged nepotism, grave misconduct and graft and corruption after he hired his wife’s two brothers, Gomer and Elmer, to work as casual employees for the Cebu City Government.

The complaint was filed by a certain Jonel Saceda, sporting the name “Inday Josa Chiongbian Osmeña” on Facebook.

A previous report of SunStar Cebu stated that Saceda accused Rama, among other allegations, of violating Sec. 59 of Executive Order 292 or the Administrative Code of 1987 that prohibits nepotic appointments in favor of a relative of the appointing or recommending authority.

He also cited Sec. 79 of Republic Act (RA) 7160 or the Local Government Code which prohibits the appointment of a local official’s relatives within the fourth degree of consanguinity, such as a first cousin or first cousin-in-law.

Saceda also sued Rama for violating Sec. 3(e) of RA 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act which prohibits acts that “cause any undue injury to any party, including the government, or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his official, administrative, or judicial functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence.”

According to Saceda, Rama violated the law when he appointed his brothers-in-law, Elmer and Gomer, as casual employees of the City.

Separate case

Saceda, in a statement on Thursday, Feb. 15, said the arrest of Gomer and Elmer was related to the case he filed against Rama in 2023.

Saceda said he filed a separate case against Gomer and Elmer last year for falsification of public documents.

Saceda said Gomer and Elmer marked “no” to the question asking if they were related by consanguinity or affinity to the appointing or recommending authority.

Saceda said this discovery provided him enough grounds, prompting him to pursue legal action.

“Just recently, I received a copy of the warrant from the court, and I was informed that Gomer and Elmer were arrested on February 13th,” said Saceda.

Cebu City Administrator Collin Rosell said as far as he knew, only Elmer remains employed at City Hall, while Gomer is no longer an employee.

Rosell, however, was not able to provide the specific period and reason when and why Gomer stopped working for the City Government, saying he had no documents on it during a phone interview with SunStar Cebu on Thursday night.

Rosell also said the arrest of Elmer does not mean that he is already guilty, as there is a process to be followed in relation to this.

SunStar Cebu also tried to call Rama on Thursday, but was unable to reach him.

Saceda, for his part, said this case should serve as a reminder to all public officials about the importance of honesty and integrity in public office.

“Public trust is paramount, and it is imperative that those in positions of authority uphold these principles at all times,” said Saceda.


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