Suspended city mayor continues to hold office

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Suspended Mayor Oscar Moreno of this city, continues to hold office pending an order from the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).

Last July 1, the Ombudsman suspended Moreno along with two other top city officials in connection with alleged irregularities in the payments for the lease contract that was entered into by the city government without prior authority from the City Council in 2013.

The two other city officials are Percy Salazar, city budget officer, and Beda Joy Elot, the city accountant.

Aside from the suspension order, the Ombudsman has also filed a graft case against Moreno, Salazar, and Elot with the Sandiganbayan.

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Moreno obtained a 60-day temporary restraining order (TRO) from the Court of Appeals 4th Special Division in Cagayan De Oro, which expired last Tuesday sans the granting of the Writ of Preliminary Injunction (WPI).

In a statement Thursday, Moreno said he will continue to exercise as City Mayor until the DILG orders him to vacate the post. “It does not mean that because the TRO expired I will cease as City Mayor,” Moreno said.

The DILG regional office here on Wednesday said that they are waiting for instructions from the DILG Central Office in Manila and the Court of Appeals (CA).

Arnel Agabe, the DILG regional director, said that they will serve the notice of suspension once the office received the directive from DILG Manila or CA.

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Last Wednesday, the Ombudsman also filed graft charges against Moreno and the acting city treasurer Glenn Bañez with the Sandiganbayan in connection with a tax settlement involving PHP 2.9 million with Ajinomoto Philippines Company in 2013.

Moreno is facing a string of anti-graft and corruption cases with the Ombudsman, including three cases of plunder, the latest of which was on the alleged release of PHP 86 million check, “pay to the order of City Mayor Oscar Moreno” before the May 2016 elections. (PNA)
LAP/CD

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