CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY: The lawyer of dismissed Mayor Oscar Moreno on Wednesday said Moreno remains the city mayor pending the result of the “status quo ante” on the petition they filed with the Court of Appeals (CA) in Manila.
The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Monday served the Ombudsman’s order dismissing Moreno from office.
His lawyer, Dale Mordeno said in an interview over Magnum radio here that a “status quo ante” asks the court to return the state of affairs that previously exists before the dismissal order was served.
“My personal opinion is that Moreno remains the city mayor until the CA in Manila issues a resolution in response to his petition for ‘status quo ante’,” he said.
City Councilor Leon Gan, however, said the implementing order of the Ombudsman was very clear that Moreno has already been dismissed.
He added that by operation of law, Vice Mayor Rainier Uy is now the mayor, otherwise, he would be charged with “dereliction of duty” and abandonment of post if he does not exercise his authority.
The DILG has affirmed that with the serving of the Ombudsman’s order, Uy is now mayor.
Uy denied that he had been sworn into office on Monday andt reports said that he traveled to Davao to attend an official function.
Gan said his office also received information that Moreno has not signed any documents pertaining to his functions as mayor since Tuesday, adding that the city’s depository banks have reportedly refused to honor the signature of the dismissed mayor.
In a two-page memorandum order signed by DILG Undersecretary Austere Panadero, the Ombudsman ordered the DILG to serve the dismissal order against Moreno, et al within 30-days upon receipt of the transmittal dated January 5, 2018.
Abdullah Matalam, DILG’s assistant regional director, served the dismissal order on Moreno and three others on at about 3:48 p.m. on February 5.
Also dismissed were Elmer Wabe, Patrick Gabutina and Rolando Pacuribot over the alleged illegal lease of equipment amounting to P20.5 million while Moreno was still governor of Misamis Oriental.
They were charged for grave misconduct, serious dishonesty and conduct prejudicial to the interest of public service.