To­mas won’t stop Balles­teros from leav­ing

Sun.Star Cebu - - TOP STORIES -

Cebu City Mayor To­mas Osmeña has no plans of block­ing Ricky Balles­teros’s in­ten­tion to step down as ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the Sinulog Foun­da­tion Inc. (SFI).

“He said he wants to go. I’m not go­ing to stop him,” he said in a news con­fer­ence yes­ter­day.

Balles­teros, who has held the po­si­tion for the past 15 years, has ex­pressed his in­ten­tion to re­sign from the SFI.

How­ever, he will still re­main as a com­mis­sioner of the Cebu City Sports Cen­ter.

In a sep­a­rate in­ter­view, Balles­teros told re­porters that he is leav­ing his post due to per­sonal rea­sons, and not be­cause the mayor hinted at al­le­ga­tions of cor­rup­tion in the SFI.

“I spoke with the mayor last Fri­day. I’m not get­ting any younger and some­body has to con­tinue. It’s high time to let some­one else run the Sinulog,” he said.

Balles­teros added that he had al­ready planned to leave his post back when the SFI was chaired by for­mer mayor Michael Rama.

“Since then, gana­han na ko mo-re­sign and at the same time, last year, nisulti na sad ko nga mo-re­sign ko but they asked me to stay to train some­body,” he said.

Balles­teros ini­tially wanted to have his res­ig­na­tion take ef­fect on April 30, but de­cided to wait un­til SFI has fin­ished au­dit­ing the ex­penses it in­curred for this year’s Sinulog cel­e­bra­tion. He said the au­dit­ing might take a month to be com­pleted.

Last week, Osmeña hinted an al­leged mis­han­dling of funds in the past years af­ter re­veal­ing that Sinulog 2018 earned around P12 mil­lion.

Balles­teros, though, em­pha­sized that the fig­ures pre­sented by the mayor were not yet fi­nal and of­fi­cial.

“I spoke with him the last time and in­formed him of the P12 mil­lion. Di pa to fi­nal. I have the records for 2016 to 2017. Sa 2018 wa pa. Fis­cal year will end by March 31 so af­ter, that’s the time we will be con­duct­ing the au­dit,” he said.

The mayor, too, wants to have the au­dit­ing fin­ished to “re­move per­sonal touch” on the han­dling of SFI’s funds.

Ask for Balles­teros’s re­place­ment, Osmeña said it will be col­lec­tively de­cided by the SFI board of di­rec­tors, which he cur­rently chairs.

“I can’t just ap­point a king. Nin­dot gyod ang team­work. Ki­na­hanglan ta mopili og tawo nga ac­cept­able sa tanan aron naay sus­tain­abil­ity, con­ti­nu­ity,” he said.

SUNSTAR FILE

PER­SONAL. Ricky Balles­teros says he’s leav­ing the Sinulog Foun­da­tion Inc. for per­sonal rea­sons, not be­cause Mayor To­mas Osmeña hinted at cor­rup­tion dur­ing his term as ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor.

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