Cagayan de Oro mayor gets court order to stay in office

Bobby Lagsa
Cagayan de Oro mayor gets court order to stay in office
The Court of Appeals issues a status quo ante order as it deliberates on Mayor Oscar Moreno's motion for reconsideration of the Ombudsman's dismissal order

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – About a thousand supporters gathered at the city hall grounds here broke into cheers as Mayor Oscar Moreno announced early evening Friday, November 13, that he got a court order allowing him to stay as chief executive for now.

Moreno was dismissed by the Ombudsman last week over a tax settlement entered into by the city government with Ajinomoto Corporation that he allegedly did not know about. It turned out that the anti-graft investigators supposedly did not see the counter-affidavit that he submitted.

On Thursday afternoon, the Department of the Interior and Local Government’s regional office served his dismissal paper, and a fiscal administered Vice Mayor Ian Acenas’ oath as mayor.

Moreno held out in city hall with his supporters throughout the night.

By Friday afternoon, Moreno’s lawyers secured a status quo ante (reversion to existing state of affairs) order from the Court of Appeals, where they had sought a reconsideration of the Ombudsman’s dismissal order.

It helped their case that just on Wednesday afternoon, November 11, the Supreme Court issued a ruling that upheld the power of the Court of Appeals to review the Ombudsman’s orders.

Upon hearing the news, Moreno became emotional and hugged everyone in his office, including his ally, Cagayan de Oro Representative Rolando Uy.

He then went to the city hall balcony from where he told supporters of the good news.

He said he was extending a hand of reconciliation with the city council, which is dominated by the PaDayon Pilipino party of his arch rival, former mayor Vicente Emano. – Rappler.com

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