Cebu City coun­cilors were given 10 days to file their counter-af­fi­davit rel­a­tive to the ad­min­is­tra­tive case filed by Emma Gabu­tan last Oct. 3, 2017

Sun.Star Cebu - - NEWS PLUS - GMD

The Of­fice of the Om­buds­man-Visayas started its in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the ad­min­is­tra­tive case against eight Cebu City coun­cilors.

Deputy Om­buds­man Paul Elmer Cle­mente found “enough ba­sis” to pro­ceed with the ad­min­is­tra­tive in­ves­ti­ga­tion against the re­spon­dents for their fail­ure to at­tend their reg­u­lar coun­cil ses­sion last Oct. 3, 2017.

Cle­mente or­dered the city coun­cilors to file their counter-af­fi­davits in 10 days rel­a­tive to the com­plaint filed by Emma Gabu­tan, who ac­cused the coun­cilors of gross ne­glect of duty, grave mis­con­duct, in­ef­fi­ciency and in­com­pe­tence in the per­for­mance of of­fi­cial du­ties.

Named re­spon­dents were Coun­cilors Pas­tor Al­cover Jr., James An­thony Cuenco, Jose Daluz III, Joel Gar­gan­era, Ray­mond Alvin Gar­cia, Jo­ce­lyn Pes­quera, Ed­uardo Rama and ex-of­fi­cio mem­ber Philip Zafra, pres­i­dent of the city’s As­so­ci­a­tion of Barangay Coun­cils.

“Fail­ure to com­ply as herein di­rected within the pe­riod pre­scribed by the rules be deemed a waiver of the right to present the party’s counter-af­fi­davit or re­ply af­fi­davit and the in­ves­ti­ga­tion shall pro­ceed ac­cord­ing to the ex­ist­ing rules,” the or­der read.

Gabu­tan, of Guadalupe, Cebu City, charged the coun­cilors with vi­o­la­tion of Repub­lic Act 7160 (Lo­cal Govern­ment Code of 1991), and vi­o­la­tion of RA 6713 (Code of Con­duct and Eth­i­cal Stan­dards for Pub­lic Of­fi­cials and Em­ploy­ees).

In her com­plaint, Gabu­tan said she was dis­ap­pointed by the per­for­mance of the re­spon­dents in the City Coun­cil.

The com­plaint was an off­shoot of a let­ter dated Sept. 28, 2017, signed by the re­spon­dents, who in­formed Vice Mayor Edgardo La­bella of their in­tent not to at­tend the reg­u­lar ses­sion last Oct. 3.

Due to the re­spon­dents’ ab­sence dur­ing the ses­sion, La­bella de­clared a no quo­rum.

“Due to their ab­sence, the mi­nor­ity put into hostage im­por­tant leg­isla­tive agenda and caused tremen­dous wastage of pub­lic funds. Their acts were re­pug­nant to the man­date of the 1987 Con­sti­tu­tion and Philip­pine laws,” Gabu­tan said in her com­plaint. /

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