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Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro - - Opinion -

ased on the rec­om­men­da­tions by the Om­buds­man, the De­part­ment of In­te­rior and Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment (DILG) in Re­gion 10 on Mon­day, Septem­ber 25, handed a dis­missal or­der against Ca­gayan de Oro mayor Os­car Moreno, and other city hall of­fi­cials.

Five counts, or five cases re­lated to graft and cor­rup­tion, Moreno had to face these le­gal drama that stemmed from his re­cent stint as city mayor, and way back when he was gov­er­nor of Misamis Ori­en­tal prov­ince.

Like a sus­pense film, when it was time for the dis­missal or­der to be for­mally de­liv­ered to the re­cip­i­ents, the Tem­po­rary Re­strain­ing Or­der (TRO) is­sued by the Court of Ap­peals (CA) saved the day. And for 60 days, Moreno and other city hall of­fi­cials have tem­porar­ily found re­lief. Tem­po­rary.

This was not the first time, how­ever, that Moreno’s camp re­sorted to CA’s is­suance of TROs so that he and the rest who were charged can func­tion to their roles as public ser­vants. Per­haps this is the “price” he has to pay for tak­ing over the turf from a deeply-rooted po­lit­i­cal dy­nasty.

But true to its le­gal name, that doc­u­ment from CA can pro­vide a tem­po­rary breather. Af­ter 60 days, Moreno’s team has to re­new it, or bet­ter yet, work to­wards re­solv­ing the case so that it will no longer haunt them. But know­ing how our jus­tice sys­tem in a snail-pace, it will take more than 60 days that re­quires more TROs that need to be is­sued.

Again, the cases against Moreno are be­com­ing se­ri­ous by the day, es­pe­cially so that those who filed these cases tried to as­so­ciate to the cur­rent ad­min­is­tra­tion of the pres­i­dent, and make it ap­pear as if the pres­i­dent him­self is in­ter­ested in this whole mess.

But many times the pres­i­dent vis­ited in Ca­gayan de Oro, and not a sin­gle lo­cal is­sue - so far - that he men­tioned lo­cal is­sues, let alone Moreno’s cases, this, de­spite the mayor is still aligned with the Lib­eral Party.

That can speak vol­umes, that the na­tional gov­ern­ment is not in­ter­ested with the Om­buds­man cases of Moreno (be­cause why there is a need to any­way?). And yet, some camps out there want to spin a nar­ra­tive to link Mala­cañang and Moreno’s po­lit­i­cal strug­gle.

But be­yond these cases and po­lit­i­cal power strug­gles, we should look at how Ca­gayan de Oro as a com­petitve city and provider of ca­reer pos­si­bil­i­ties. The re­cent com­pet­i­tive in­dex placed the city on the 10th spot, this is trou­ble­some, as in the pre­vi­ous it landed within the Top 5 na­tion­wide un­der highly ur­ban­ized cities cat­e­gory.

The big slip is a wake-up call and a mo­ment to re­flect of how Ca­gayan de Oro worked to bal­ance its eco­nomic agenda, as trans­lated from lead­er­ship and gov­er­nance of its public of­fi­cials.

(ne­fluc­zon@gmail.com)

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