Moreno: ‘I am still the mayor of Cagayan de Oro’

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 09 February) — “I am still the mayor of Cagayan de Oro,” Mayor Oscar Moreno said in a press conference Thursday.

Cagayan de Oro Mayor Oscar Moreno and barangay chairpersons show their unity after the Court of Appeals quashed an order of the Department of Interior and Local Government to dismiss him on Thursday (8 February 2018). MindaNews photo by FROILAN GALLARDO

The Court of Appeals Second Division in Cagayan de Oro issued an order Wednesday stopping the Department of Interior and Local Government from enforcing a decision by the Office of the Ombudsman dismissing moreno as mayor.

The decision, penned by Associate Justice Edgardo Camello, granted Moreno’s petition to consolidate all 24 administrative graft cases filed against him when he was still governor of Misamis Oriental.

The appellate court maintained that DILG implementation of the Ombudsman dismissal order against Moreno is invalid because all 24 cases are covered by a writ of injunction issued last November 2017.

At the press conference on Thursday, Moreno said he reported back to work after deciding not to report at City Hall last Tuesday and Wednesday.

He said he opted to stay away from City Hall to avoid being perceived as defiant and also to prevent any mass actions from his supporters.

While he was out, Moreno said he avoided signing any important documents.

Moreno said the bureaucracy at City Hall functioned very well delivering the basic services to the Cagayan de Oro residents.

“I am very happy and in fact very pleased that the last two days, we have seen basic public services being delivered and unhampered without interruption, without interference,” Moreno said.

Last Monday, the DILG, led by regional director Arnel Agabe, served the dismissal order and named Moreno’s partymate, Vice Mayor Rainier Joaquin Uy, as the new mayor. But he was reportedly not able to to function as mayor as he was out town.

Agabe said the dismissal was ordered by the Ombudsman who found Moreno and three other former officials of Misamis Oriental guilty of graft for allegedly leasing heavy equipment without public bidding from 2009 to 2010 while he was governor of Misamis Oriental.

The DILG served the order around 3 p.m. Monday at the office of Moreno’s lawyer, Dale Mordeno, in Barangay Camaman-an.

The CA decision came at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Mordeno said the decision of the CA rendered the dismissal order against Moreno “moot” because all 24 administrative cases of his were already lumped as one and covered by the November 2017 writ of injunction. (Froilan Gallardo / MindaNews)