|CAGAYAN de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno|
CAGAYAN de Oro City (BEN BALCE/Golden Journal) - The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Wednesday issued a statement “recognizing” Oscar Moreno as “still” the City Mayor of Cagayan De Oro City.
In a letter addressed to City Mayor Oscar Moreno, dated Nov. 17, 2015, DILG Undersecretary Austere Panadero, said that since the dismissal order is not yet final and executory pending the resolution of the Motion for Reconsideration by the Office of the Ombudsman, the DILG still recognizes Oscar Moreno as the City Mayor of Cagayan De Oro City.
Panadero said that the resolution of the Court of Appeals (CA) specifically enjoined all “department, its officers and agents and all persons acting under them, from enforcing, implementing, and effecting the decision dated August 2015 of the Office of the Ombudsman.”
In a press conference Wednesday at the DILG regional office, Nilo Castanares, the DILG regional director, said that the two-page letter was addressed to Oscar Moreno copy furnished the DILG regional office here.
He said that he tried to serve to furnish the letter to Vice Mayor Caesar Ian Acenas last night, but Acenas did not sign it.
Castanares said that the DILG issued the clarification in response to queries made by the Bureau of Local Government and Finance (BLGF) on who should be recognized as Cagayan De Oro City Mayor.
“The DILG wants to emphasize that there could be only City Mayor in order to resolve the “standoff” and unhamper the basic services that the people need,” Castanares said.
Lawyer Severando Arana, of the DILG’s legal department, said that the actions of Vice Mayor Caesar Ian Acenas following the letter of the DILG Undersecretary could be questioned as to its legal implication.
The DILG served the dismissal order against City Mayor Oscar Moreno Thursday last week on the orders of the Office of Ombudsman, which paved the way to the assumption of Vice Mayor Acenas as the City Mayor.
Panadero’s letter, however, did not recall the installation of Vice Mayor Ceasar Ian Acenas but stated that only the DILG ‘recognizes Oscar Moreno as the City Mayor of Cagayan De Oro City.”
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales has approved the dismissal of Moreno on October 6, 2015 with Grave Misconduct for entering into a settlement agreement with Ajinomoto Philippines without prior authorization from the Sangguniang Panlungsod in violation of R.A.No. 7160 (The Local Government Code).
The order of dismissal also penalized Moreno and City Treasurer Glenn Banez with perpetual disqualification to hold public office and forfeiture of all retirement benefits.
Under the Ajinomoto agreement, the firm has paid only P300,000 business tax out of the P2.9 million business tax that the firm was supposed to pay to the city government. (with PNA)