CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 15 Nov) — The opposition-dominated City Council on Sunday they will not recognize Oscar Moreno as mayor saying the order of the Court of Appeals on Friday evening granting Moreno a 60-day reprieve is “moot and academic.”
Councilor Ramon Tabor of the Padayon Party said the Court of Appeals granted Moreno a temporary restraining order (TRO) not a status quo ante as earlier reported by news organizations.
“By all stretch of imagination, the TRO came in late. The DILG had already sworn in Moreno’s replacement last Thursday evening. The Ombudsman’s order has already been carried out,” Tabor said.
According to Tabor, Vice Mayor Ian Acenas, who was sworn in by the DILG in Region 10 as the new mayor of Cagayan de Oro will continue to serve as mayor and will lead the flag-raising ceremonies at the City Hall on Monday. Moreno is also expected to be at the flag-raising rites.
On Thursday evening, the DILG in Region 10 swore in Acenas as mayor and Councilor Candy Darimbang, who topped the electoral race in the 16-member City Council, as vice mayor.
The Court of Appeals issued the TRO Friday after Moreno and his co-accused, Glenn Banez, officer-in-charge of the City Treasurer’s Office, filed a petition for certiorari assailing the Office of the Ombudsman’s decision to dismiss them for grave misconduct last August 14, 2015.
The DILG carried out the order last November 12 after Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales signed the dismissal order last Nov. 5.
In their motions for reconsideration, Moreno and Banez said the Office of the Ombudsman decided their case without taking into consideration their counter-affidavits which the investigators claimed they did not receive.
“The Supreme Court in a recent ruling gave the Court of Appeals the power to review cases decided by the Ombudsman and grant ancillary reliefs, “ Justice Henri Jean Paul Inteng of the CA 22nd Division said.
Inteng directed the DILG and all concerned agencies not to implement the Ombudsman decision on Aug. 14 for 60 days pending the resolution of the motion for reconsiderations filed by Moreno and Banez.
He also directed Moreno and Banez to post bail amounting to P500,000 each.
Moreno received the order Friday evening. Copies were disseminated to the opposition parties on Saturday and the press on Sunday.
Tabor said he received his copy Saturday afternoon and realized the CA issued a TRO not a status quo ante as they were earlier made to believe.
“What is there to hold for the TRO when the DILG had already sworn in Vice Mayor Acenas on Thursday a day before?” Tabor said.
“Acenas can not be held in contempt. He is not a party to the complaint filed by Moreno. The DILG had sworn him to office,” Tabor said.
Tabor said the Acenas and the opposition will only back down if the DILG issues an order clarifiying who is the mayor of Cagayan de Oro.
Moreno could not be reached for comment. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)