By CRIS DIAZ
The political hysteria at the city hall is one of the highlights of Mayor Oscar Moreno as the year 2018 creeps in.
By the way, the dismissal order of the Office of the Ombudsman against Moreno, served by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) on February 5, 2018, was long overdue. Why it took the DILG long to serve the dismissal order became the talk of the town in Cagayan De Oro City.
Thus, the DILG could not blame the Cagayanons of suspecting that the DILG is discriminatory in the serving of dismissal orders against public officials earlier ordered by the anti-graft court dismissed from service.
Not only that, the seemingly unending restraining order issued by the Cagayan De Oro-based Court of Appeals (CA) to prevent the Ombudsman, the country’s anti-graft court, from implementing the series of “dismissal orders” against Moreno have become suspicious.
Yes, while the legal community and the people believed in the probity of the CA decisions, the incessant issuance of the restraining orders and the writ of preliminary injunctions to counter all the dismissal orders, which were validly served against Moreno may not be suspicious, but appalling.
In fact, the then CA’s Acting Associate Presiding Judge Remedios Salazar-Fernando, in a letter dated October 30, 2017, asked the CA to order the re-raffle of all Ombudsman cases filed by Mayor Oscar Moreno with the CA-Cagayan De Oro Station to the Justices in the CA-Manila station.
On Nov. 28, 2017, the CA setting in en banc approved a resolution to ship the “rollo” of re-raffled cases to CA-Manila Station to make sure that the case should not be assigned to any CA Justice who have, on one time or another, has handled any case of Moreno (past and present) to avoid any suspicion of undue interest.
In the dismissal order served by the DILG, on Feb. 5, 2018, Moreno’s camp insisted that they filed with the CA-Cagayan De Oro Station, a Petition for Certiorari an application for the issuance of temporary restraining order, writ of preliminary injunction, and status quo ante order assailing the decision dated April 24, 2017 by the Office of the Ombudsman in the case OMB-M.A.- 16-0172, which dismissed Mayor Moreno and three others from office.
Any ordinary person, who knows how to read, could easily detect that the CA-Cagayan De Oro Station has “wittingly or unwittingly” disregarded the CA-Manila resolution dated Nov. 28, 2017? The resolution ordered that all cases of Moreno with the CA-Cagayan De Oro Station be shipped to CA-Manila Station to be re-raffled there. Consequently, it is the CA-Manila station – not the CA Cagayan De Oro Station – who should resolve the case filed by Moreno’s camp.
To reiterate, the Nov. 28, 2017 resolution issued by the CA-Manila Station explicitly ordered that all Moreno cases are to be re-raffled and be resolved by the CA-Manila station. Moreno argued that the petition and motion was filed with the CA-Cagayan De Oro Station on “jurisdictional” ground. Did the CA-Cagayan De Oro Station inadvertently disregarded the CA-Manila en banc resolution?
While the CA-Cagayan De Oro Station is autonomous, the action it has taken to resolve Moreno’s case could be misconstrued as “open defiance” of the CA’s en banc resolution.
Anyway, it is now up to the DILG and the Ombudsman to act on the resolution issued by the CA-Cagayan De Oro Station. Whether justice is served in favor of Moreno or the taxpayers in Cagayan De Oro City, the truth would definitely set us free. -0- Email reactions/comments: firstname.lastname@example.org
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