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Rama walks out of hearing

Cebu City mayor seeks dismissal of complaint

CEBU CITY, Cebu—Cebu City officials led by Mayor Michael Rama and Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella and their lawyers walked out from a hearing of the Department of Interior and Local Government on the administrative complaint that the two top officials received  P20,000 each in calamity assistance in 2013 after Cebu was struck by an earthquake and ravaged by supertyphoon Yolanda.

Rama and Labella walked out after the DILG hearing officer junked their motion for reconsideration questioning the “credibility and integrity” as they asked that the complaint be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.

“We have to move out. We are just maintaining our position that DILG and (the) Office of the President has no jurisdiction over the case. We will elevate it to a superior court. We will discuss the filing of pleadings,” Rama said.

A certain Reymelio Delute had filed the complaint saying there was no evidence that city government employees and officials suffered losses due to the October 15 earthquake and supertyphoon Yolanda.

DILG-7 hearing officer  Christopher Tiu denied the request of City Attorney Jerone Castillo and that of the other lawyers of the respondents to put into writing Tiu’s decision denying the motion for reconsideration they filed.

Tiu ruled that there was lack of basis to grant the request, adding that it would be threshed out later on during the formal hearing of the complaint.

Meanwhile, an estimated 1,000 people massed outside the DILG office to show support for the city officials.

Nasudnong Natawhang Kabus president Evangeline Abejo said she represented various urban poor sectors while Cebu City Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) president Philip Zafra, Barangay Councilors’ League of the Philippines (BCLP) president Raymond Garcia, and other barangay officials also expressed support to the city officials.

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