CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – Dismissed Cagayan de Oro City Mayor Oscar Moreno claimed that the Office of the Ombudsman’s dismissal order against him is a “serious miscarriage of justice.”
In a press conference on Thursday, November 5, Moreno said the dismissal order was based on his failure to submit his counter-affidavit to an earlier case filed against him before the Ombudsman.
But Moreno claims that he actually filed his counter-affidavit. “They (investigators) missed out my counter-affidavit and that’s a serious miscarriage of justice,” he said.
Moreno was charged for grave misconduct after entering into a settlement agreement with Ajinomoto Philippines without prior authorization from the Sangguniang Panlungsod (Provincial Council). The agreement allowed Ajinomoto to pay just P300,000 ($6,397), instead of its original local business tax deficiency of P2.9 million ($61,840).
He said that in his counter-affidavit, he clarified that he has no knowledge of the settlement between the city treasury department and Ajinomoto.
The Ombudsman announced on Thursday the dismissal from service of Moreno and other officials in Mindanao for various offenses in the performance of their functions. (READ: Ombudsman orders dismissal of 3 Mindanao mayors)
Moreno claimed that he is yet to receive a copy of the dismissal order. He described the decision as harsh “especially given that [my] reply was not considered.”
“We will file our motion for reconsideration and at the same time, as circumstances warrant, we will file a Temporary Restraining Order [with] the Court of Appeals once we receive a copy of the order,” Moreno said.
Teddy Sabuga-a, head of the City Social Services Department and long time confidant of Moreno, said Moreno’s office has resent the counter-affidavit to the Ombudsman.
“Therefore, a Motion for Reconsideration is in order, resubmitting the counter-affidavit disproving the claim of Complainant Guillani. Then only can the Ombudsman decide with utmost justice and propriety the merits of the said case,” Sabuga-a said.
Moreno is seeking re-election in 2016. The Ombudsman dismissal order, however, also perpetually bars him from holding public office. – Rappler.com
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