Mayor Oscar Moreno’s supporters say graft charges ‘baseless’

Oct. 08, 2017

Thousands of residents from various barangays and sectors troop to the Freedom Kiosk in Cagayan de Oro City to show their support for embattled Mayor Oscar Moreno on Saturday, October 7. Moreno is facing dozens of criminal and administrative charges and dismissal orders from the Ombudsman, but his camp was able to secure Temporary Restraining Orders and Writ of Preliminary Injunction to keep his office. (Jigger J. Jerusalem/

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – Amid series of criminal and administrative complaints filed against Mayor Oscar Moreno, about 3,000 of his supporters staged a mass action on Saturday, October 7, at the Freedom Kiosk here to show allegiance to him.

The protesters, representing various sectors from different villages, said that the cases Moreno is facing are “baseless and politically motivated” and cited the accomplishments of his administration.

Moreno’s chief legal counsel, Dale Bryan Mordeno, said there are 48 cases filed by individuals against the local chief executive at the Office of the Ombudsman.

A separate complaint was lodged by former Barangay Taglimao chairman, William Guialani, at the Office of the President for the alleged P79 million checks that reportedly named Moreno as payee.

Of the 48 cases, the Ombudsman had already issued 22 dismissal orders against Moreno. The cases included Moreno’s approval on the rental of heavy equipment when he was Misamis Oriental governor, and the living quarters of the city’s aspiring boxers during his second term as mayor.

In response, Moreno sought legal remedies at the Court of Appeals, which in turn issued Writs of Preliminary Injunction on the Ombudsman’s six dismissal orders and Temporary Restraining Orders on 16 other dismissal orders.

“We are not blind to what [Moreno] has done for Cagayan de Oro,” Fe Ermita, the chapter president of the Kalipunan ng mga Liping Pilipina (Kalipi), told her fellow protesters.

Ermita said the mayor has included the women, including Kalipi and other groups, in his agenda.

Datu Benie Malinda, a member of the City Tribal Council, said they are grateful for the construction of road networks that connected rural villages and their tribal communities to the city proper.

“The infrastructure projects that were only implemented during his term have greatly helped the [indigenous peoples] in the hinterland barangays,” Malinda said.

Rolando Damaolao, a leader of persons with disabilities (PWD) here, said Moreno has been supportive of their programs and advocacies adding they were no longer deprived of financial assistance.

This year, the city government has allocated around P8 million for the PWDs, he said.

“Mayor Moreno’s help to the city’s PWDs goes beyond political color,” Damaolao, the chairman of the Cagayan de Oro City Council on Disability Affairs, said.

Jessie Legaspi, head of the Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs, said the mayor has not turned his back on the city’s elderly population, adding that he did many favors and gave incentives from the city government’s funds.

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