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Council to look into sports center mess

By LITO RULONA
Correspondent /

VICE Mayor Raineir Joaquin Uy has tasked the city council to convene as a committee of the whole to look into the controversies hounding the management of the government-owned sports complex.

Uy put to task the city council even as its former member President Elipe announced that he welcomed an official city council investigation into the finances and management of the sports complex.

Elipe, a former councilor, is now serving as the sports complex’s general manager.

His appointment has been questioned in a letter of complaint that was brought to the city council’s attention by Councilor Ian Mark Nacaya.

In the complaint sent to the Office of the Ombudsman, Commission on Audit, and Civil Service Commission, Elipe’s appointment by Misamis Oriental Gov. Yevgeny Vincente Emano, his brother-in-law, was described as a case of nepotism, a violation of an election rule that prohibits the appointment of candidates to public offices within a one-year period from the elections, and an act that went against a supposed ombudsman decision that barred the ex-councilor from holding public office.

The complaint, read by Nacaya before the city council, also questioned how revenues from the operations of the sports complex have been used even as it alleged that funds were being spent on things meant to promote political interests.

Elipe has however brushed off the unsigned letter of complaint and the allegations, and argued that he is serving as general manager of the sports complex under a “private entity” — the Misamis Oriental Integrated Sports Council.

As a “private entity,” Elipe argued that its finances are not subject to government audit, election and other rules.

But Elipe’s assertion was rejected by Mayor Oscar Moreno who pointed out that the sports complex is jointly owned by the capitol, city hall and the Department of Education that occupy seats in the sports council. He said that makes the sports council and the general manager’s position being held by Elipe “public.”

Nacaya, in a privilege speech last week, criticized the “private operation” of the sports complex under Elipe.

He said there is no record or evidence of the legal creation of sports center as a business or private entity with a legal status and therefore, it is a “public entity” under its owners.

Vice Mayor Uy said city hall should assert its right in the sports council and the sports complex.

“At least kinahanglan nga Cagayan de Oro aduna usab panahon nga mo-manage sa Misamis Oriental Integrated Sports Council. Among pangitaon nga kinahanglan patas gyud ang pagdumala,” he said.

Uy called on the city council to prepare to argue its case with the provincial board of Misamis Oriental.

“We have to assert our rights and privileges. So andam na gyud kita (city council) nga mangawras sa provincial board in Misamis Oriental,” Uy said.

For years, the capitol has been the dominant party in the sports council and has been calling the shots in the sports complex. The governor has always sat as the council’s chairman.

Uy said that should not be the case because if the tripartite ownership of the sports complex.

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About Lito Rulona

Lito Rulona is a veteran newspaperman and broadcaster who covered many of the biggest stories in Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Oriental and Northern Mindanao since the early 90s.

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