Lawyer in complaint vs Emano says mayor ordered to reply to raps

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/30 January) —The legal counsel of the opposition politicians here who filed an administrative case against City Mayor Vicente Y. Emano last week, said his sources at the Palace confirmed it has ordered the mayor to submit his reply within 15 days.

“I can’t confirm that (the suspension order has been released), but what I can say is that it’s probably the order by the Palace for VYE to submit his answer within 15 days that my sources confirmed to me,” lawyer James Judith said in a text message today.

However, Emano said in an interview today that he has yet to receive any memorandum from either Malacanang or the Department of Interior and Local Government.

“I have not received anything from the President or the DILG but if I receive such order I will abide by the due process and will submit my reply on the matter,” he said.

“If they think I have neglected my duties as city mayor then it is their right to file an administrative case against me,” he added.

Last week, opposition politicians Raul Ramon Roa, Teodulfo Lao, Celestino Ocio III, Enrico Salcedo and Vincent Tero, through Judith, filed an administrative case against Emano at the Office of the President in connection with Emano’s alleged inaction during and after tropical storm Sendong ravaged the city.

“Blood is in the hands of the mayor. Emano, in power for the last 13 years, has much to answer for. Through his negligence or inaction, defiance of the orders of concerned government authorities that brought about (sic) the unprecedented death (sic) and destruction caused by typhoon Sendong,” the group’s affidavit of complaint reads in part,” the group’s affidavit of complaint reads in part.

The group charged Emano with “Gross Negligence and Dereliction of Duty” as grounds for disciplinary action with the Honorable Office of the President citing Section 60 of Republic Act 7160, or the Local Government Code of the Philippines.

Under Sec. 60 (c) of RA 7160, “elective local officials may be disciplined, suspended, or removed from office on any of the following grounds: dishonesty, oppression, misconduct in office, gross negligence, or dereliction of duty.” (Cong Corrales/MindaNews)