Acenas prepares to take oath as city mayor
|CDO Mayor Oscar Moreno|
CAGAYAN de Oro (BEN BALCE/Golden Journal) - City Mayor Oscar Moreno, of Cagayan De Oro City, described the Ombudsman’s order dismissing him as City Mayor as “harsh and a miscarriage of justice.”
The Office of the Ombudsman has issued a press release Thursday, dismissing Moreno and two other Mayors in Mindanao for Grave Misconduct, Serious Dishonesty, Gross Neglect of Duty, and Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service.
In a statement released to the local media, Moreno said he has not received the order of the Ombudsman to dismiss him from service and criticized the Ombudsman for not giving credit to his counter affidavit.
While Moreno said that he has not received the order he mentioned in his statement that “the Ombudsman resolution cited him for not submitting a counter affidavit within the prescribed period.”
“I have submitted my counter affidavit relative to the case filed against me involving “Ajinomoto” case, but, the Ombudsman failed to read it,” Moreno said.
He said that he would file a motion for reconsideration with the Ombudsman and a restraining order with the Court of Appeals (CA) arguing that the dismissal was harsh and a “miscarriage of justice.”
In a press release posted on the official website of the Ombudsman, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales approved the decision to dismiss Moreno and the Cagayan De Oro City Treasurer Glenn Banez on Oct. 6, 2015.
The Ombudsman found Moreno to have committed 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 agreement allowed Ajinomoto to pay Php 300,000 instead of its original local business tax deficiency of Php 2.9 million.
The Office of the Ombudsman ruled that the approval of the agreement by the court cannot, in any way, legitimize the acts of Moreno.
CDO vice mayor prepares to take oath as city mayor
Meanwhile, Cagayan De Oro City Vice Mayor Ian Acenas will reportedly take his oath of Office as the City Mayor replacing City Mayor Oscar Moreno anytime, a member of the city council said Thursday.
City Councilor Alex Dacer said that the members of the City Council are waiting for the receipt of the Ombudsman order dismissing City Mayor Oscar Moreno from service.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales approved the dismissal of Moreno last October 6 for Grave Misconduct after entering into a settlement agreement with Ajinomoto Philippines without prior authorization from the Sangguniang Panlungsod in violation of Republic Act No. 7160 (The Local Government Code).
Dacer said that the moment that the Secretary of the City Council receives the official order, the City Council would immediately pass a resolution installing Vice Mayor Acenas as the City Mayor.
“By operation of the law, Acenas would succeed as the City Mayor once the incumbent City Mayor is evicted from office,” Dacer said.
He said that Moreno could file a motion for reconsideration with the Ombudsman and a temporary restraining order (TRO) with the Court of Appeals (CA), but he must vacate the post to give way to the Vice Mayor.
Dacer cited the case of Mayor Junjun Binay of Makati where he has to vacate the office after receiving the dismissal order from the Ombudsman, although Binay has filed a motion for reconsideration and a TRO with the CA.
A former Vice Mayor Antonio Soriano, now an independent lawyer, said that considering that the election is getting near, he expressed the doubts that Moreno could get a TRO with the CA.
If Moreno could not get a TRO from the CA before the election, it would also be possible that Moreno’s certificate of candidacy (COC) would be forfeited since he would be banned from holding public office, Soriano said.
Moreno is running for reelection and, alone, has filed a COC under the Liberal Party (LP) political party last October 13, 2015 to the consternation of the local LP lineup. (BEN BALCE with PNA)