• Political crisis looms at Cebu city hall

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    Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama on Tuesday said he, along with 13 other city officials, has not received his reported suspension order from Malacañang, and called on his supporters for sobriety as a crisis situation at city hall is feared.

    Rama told The Manila Times that the new suspension order “has not been served” to him or any of the officials, and that he only learned about it from a local newspaper.

    He called the purported order “amazing, appalling and condemnable.”

    Rama was referring to a memorandum order signed by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. dated April 7, which states: “This office finds respondents Mayor Michael Rama, Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella, and City Councilors Nestor Archival Sr., Mary Ann de los Santos, David Tumulak, Nendell Hanz Abella, Sisinio Andales, Alvin Arcilla, Roberto Cabarrubias, Ma. Nida Cabrera, Gerardo Carillo, Alvin Dizon, Eugenio Gabuya Jr., and Noel Eleuterio Wenceslao, all from Cebu City, guilty of abuse of authority and are hereby meted out the penalty of six (6) months suspension from office, which shall not exceed respondents’ unexpired term.”

    The case against Rama, along with Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella, and 12 city councilors stemmed from an administrative complaint filed by Reymelio Delute over the alleged controversial release of P20,000 calamity aid to City Hall employees in 2013.

    He added that they will take the necessary legal remedies as soon as they have the order, but said he could not assure the reaction of his supporters, saying “galit na ang mga tao [the people are angry].”

    Rama also decried the absence of due process, and wondered why the Office of the President has been implementing orders against him, but cases against those belonging to the administration party are not pushed.

    Rama was also meted a 60-day preventive suspension last December over the demolition order of the median structure in Barangay Labangon.

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