By NITZ ARANCON
MAYOR Oscar Moreno yesterday wrote to the Department of Interior and Local Government to inform it that he has reported to work following the issuance of a Court of Appeals resolution on Wednesday. He asked the interior department to allow him to work at city hall undisturbed.
On Wednesday afternoon, the CA issued a three-page document that resolved that the 24 graft cases filed against him in connection with the capitol’s controversial lease of heavy equipment when Moreno was governor are all consolidated and a standing writ of prelimary injunction applies to all.
“Accordingly, since there is already a categorical ruling on the binding effect of the injunctive writs to all the consolidated cases, I see no reason why I should be further disturbed in continuing to discharge my official functions,” Moreno wrote in the letter sent to Interior Undersecretary Austere Panadero.
It was Panadero who ordered the DILG officials here to serve the Office of the Ombudsman’s dismissal and disqualification order against Moreno and his subordinates based on the 24th and last Nuñez case. The ombudsman’s ruling came after the Nov. 28. 2017 issuance of the CA’s writ of preliminary injunction and ruling to consolidate the cases because of redundancy.
DILG served the ombudsman’s dismissal and disqualification order on Monday afternoon but the CA resolution on Wednesday afternoon meant that it was seen by the court as invalid and legally flawed.
Moreno also informed the DILG that as soon as his lawyer Bryan Dale Mordeno received the ombudsman’s order from the DILG this Feb. 5, he did not report for work at city hall.
“I opted to stay out of office to avoid being perceived as defiant and to free your office from inconveniences of any legal tussle that might arise,” reads part of Moreno’s letter to Panadero. “I wanted to restrain my supporters and those dismayed by the dismissal from taking mass action.”
But he said he continued to work outside city hall for two days “to ensure unhampered delivery of basic services to my constituents.”
At a news conference, Moreno said it was business as usual at city hall this week, and work was not disrupted. He said he did not sign official documents for two days.
“Wala man say dagkong transaction. No payment had been held. There was no interruption. There was no delay. No deferment. The bureaucracy continued to function,” he told reporters. “Ang mayor igo lang mohatag og direction, igo lang mo-manage sa mga department head. Dili ang mayor mopalihok sa mga documents but it’s the bureaucracy. Everybody functions according to the mandate of the office — even without the mayor.”