Ombudsman-Visayas finds probable cause versus 10 Cebu City legislators

CEBU CITY — The Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas has found probable cause to proceed with the graft and misconduct complaints filed by a Cebu City resident against 10 city councilors for their refusal to tackle the PHP2.8-billion proposed first supplemental budget (SB 1) in 2015.

The complaint filed by Evelyn Montes, a resident of Barangay Apas, Cebu City has been docketed by Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas Paul Elmer Clemente as criminal and administrative cases.

Clemente said these cases will be assigned to an investigation officer who will conduct the preliminary investigation.

Named respondents are Cebu City Councilors Margarita Osmeña, Lea Japson, Mary Ann delos Santos, Sisinio Andales, Alvin Arcilla, Roberto Cabarrubias, Nida Cabrera, Alvin Dizon, Eugenio Gabuya Jr. and then Acting Vice Mayor Nestor Archival.

Montes filed the complaint against the 10 councilors, who are members of the majority bloc Bando Osmena Pundok Kauswagan, for their alleged failure to act on the proposed SB 1.

Included in the proposed budget was the supposed PHP2.4-billion prepayment of the remaining loan balance of the South Road Properties (SRP) last year.

The loan’s outstanding balance has now increased to more than PHP2.6-billion due to currency fluctuations.

Montes accused the councilors of violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and the Local Government Code and of committing misconduct, gross negligence, dereliction of duty, abuse of authorityand oppression.

She accused the councilors of “willfully” delaying thedeliberations of the proposed SB 1 and acted in “bad faith” and “gross inexcusable negligence.” PNA /