LGUs in the Philippines

Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama faces nepotism complaint; aide calls it ‘malicious’

John Sitchon
Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama faces nepotism complaint; aide calls it ‘malicious’

COMPLAINT. Cebu resident Jonel Saceda files criminal and administrative complaints against Mayor Mike Rama for alleged nepptism.

Jonel Saceda

The mayor's executive secretary Collin Rosell says Rama's brothers-in-law have worked for the city government since 2015, six years before his 2021 marriage

CEBU, Philippines – Cebu City resident Jonel Saceda filed administrative and criminal complaints of nepotism against Mayor Mike Rama on Tuesday, January 24 before the Office of the Ombudsman in Central Visayas.

Saceda’s nine-page complaint-affidavit claimed that after Rama married Malou Jimenez Mandanat on October 28, 2021, he appointed two of her brothers into government positions.

“Respondent Mayor Rama appointed his brother-in-law, Elmer Gimenez Mandanat as Process Server under the Office of the Mayor for the period January 1, 2022, to June 30, 2022…Rama appointed his other brother-in-law, Gomer Gimenez Mandanat as Administrative Aide III (Laborer II) under the Cebu City Medical Center for the period January 1, 2022, to June 30, 2022,” his complaint said.

Saceda noted that the city’s plantilla of casual appointments, and birth certificates showed that Elmer and Gomer are indeed brothers of the mayor’s wife. They were appointed for a second time between July 1, 2022, and December 30, 2022, his complaint added.

“The subject appointments of Elmer Gimenez Mandanat and Gomer Gimenez Mandanat by Respondent Mayor Rama to a non-confidential position in the Cebu City Government are clearly prohibited nepotic appointments,” the complaint read.

Section 79 of Republic Act No. 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991 states that no person shall be appointed in the career service of the local government if they are related within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity to the appointing or recommending authority.


In defense of Rama, the mayor’s executive secretary Collin Rosell told Rappler that the case filed against the mayor was “malicious.” 

Rosell said the mayor’s brothers-in-law were already working for the city government before his marriage to Malou.

“If we’re talking about the brothers, what we can say is that they have been working in the city hall since 2015 and the renewal of their contract follows a process that is being handled by our Human Resources department…it all goes through a long process,” Rosell said.

The lawyer added that they have yet to receive any documents regarding the matter but will respond the soonest time possible.

The 67-year-old Rama’s first marriage to lawyer Araceli Lim Francisco was annulled in 2000.

Saceda said the mayor ought to be preventively suspended pending investigation and be held liable for grave misconduct and graft.

“Walay taw nagpaluyo nako (No one is manipulating me) and I had (the document) even notarized at the Department of Justice. This is just our role in nation-building so we have to be very vigilant,” Saceda told Rappler in a phone interview on Thursday, January 26. 

Rappler has contacted Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama to comment on the matter but has yet to receive a reply. This story will be updated immediately after the mayor sends his statement. –Rappler.com

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