Rama fights suspension

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CEBU CITY: Suspended Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, through his lawyers, filed a petition for certiorari before the Court of Appeals (CA) on Friday and asked the appellate court to annul the 60-day suspension the Office of the President imposed on him.

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Rama was suspended for alleged violation of the Constitution, grave abuse of authority, grave misconduct and oppression.

His suspension stemmed from a complaint filed by Barangay Captain Victor Buendia of Labangon, Cebu City, who alleged that Rama ordered the demolition of the barangay’s center island and street lighting project along Katipunan St., Barangay Labangon last year.

Rama’s lawyers said it was the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) that ordered the removal of the center island.

The center island that City Hall removed in 2014 was illegal and unauthorized because Buendia “illegally deviated and substantially modified” the approved plan and scope of work, the mayor’s petition said.

Cebu City Ordinance 1481 declared the center island as a nuisance, which was the basis for its demolition, it said.

In his 25-page petition, Rama said Malacañang committed “grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction” in suspending him.

“Clearly, there is no basis for Malacañang to rule that there is strong evidence of guilt against petitioner Mayor Rama for grave misconduct by ordering the clearing of an illegal and unauthorized structure for being a danger to the traveling public,” the petition read.

Acting as lead counsel on Rama’s case is his son, lawyer Miguel Francisco ‘Mikel’ Rama, with private lawyers Floro Casas and Jasper Pelagio.

Rama began serving his 60-day suspension Friday, with his ally, Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella sworn in as acting city mayor.

PNA

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