CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – The city mayor here is optimistic that the series of criminal and administrative charges filed against him will not prosper and will be decided by the higher courts in his favor.
This, after the Supreme Court (SC) cleared the associate justices at the Court of Appeals-Mindanao Station from accusations that they made a mistake when they issued Temporary Restraining Orders (TROs) to an Ombudsman ruling, dismissing and perpetually disqualifying Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno from holding any public office.
“I hope that we will overcome,” Moreno told reporters here on Monday, September 11.
The TROs granted by the CA to Moreno pertains to a number of complaints filed by private individuals against the mayor, including the deal the city government made with condiments maker Ajinomoto Philippines and the rental of sleeping quarters for the city’s aspiring boxers.
Moreno said the SC decision is “a clear vindication for the accused Justices who are duty-bound to decide.”
The high court cleared CA Associate Justices Henri Jean Paul Inting, Edgardo Camello and Pablito Perez from accusations they committed gross ignorance of the law, grave abuse of authority, gross misconduct, manifest impartiality, among others, when they issued a TRO against Moreno’s dismissal.
The SC, in another decision, denied the petition for Certiorari, questioning the TRO and subsequent Writ of Preliminary Injunction (WPI) on yet another Ombudsman decision that meted a three-month suspension against Moreno, City Budget Officer Percy Salazar and City Accountant Beda Joy Elot for simple misconduct.
“Justice is alive in Cagayan de Oro. Our courts cannot be swayed into entertaining baseless and politically motivated cases. At the end of the day, justice will prevail,” Moreno said.
In a Resolution dated July 25, 2017, the SC ruled that complainant Clemente Atoc “had no clear interest in the filing of the case against the three Justices.” It furthered noted that the issuance of a TRO “was a judicial issue and not a proper subject of an administrative case.”
In the same Resolution, the high court also dismissed the administrative complaint by William Guialani against Associate Justice Edgardo Camello for the issuance of the TRO, the subsequent WPI and refusal to inhibit from the case.
The SC said that an administrative action against the CA Justices was not proper and that Guialani should have “resorted to judicial resource by filing a motion for reconsideration or the appropriate petition, to challenge the TRO.”
The CA granted a TRO and later on a WPI on the decision of the Ombudsman on August 14, 2015 to dismiss and perpetually disqualify Moreno from holding public office and former city treasurer Glenn Bañez for allegedly committing grave misconduct when they entered into a tax settlement agreement with Ajinomoto without authorization from the City Council.
The CA eventually reversed the Ombudsman decision in a ruling on August 13, 2016.
In another case, the SC in a February 1, 2017 Resolution denied the petition for review on Certiorari the TRO and WPI by the appellate court on the three-month suspension against Moreno, Salazar and Elot for simple misconduct.
Marvin Beja, the village chairman of Puntod, this city, sued Moreno, Salazar and Elot for misconduct when they caused the rental of sleeping and training quarters of Cagayan de Oro’s amateur boxers. (davaotoday.com)