CEBU - The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Tuesday served a six-month preventive suspension order against Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama, Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella and 12 councilors for "grave abuse of authority."
The 14 officials allegedly got P20,000 calamity fund even though they were not victims of supertyphoon Yolanda and the magnitude 7.2 earthquake that hit Cebu in 2013.
The Office of the President ordered Rama and the others for alleged culpable violation of the Constitution, grave abuse of authority, grave misconduct and oppression after they failed to prove that they were calamity victims.
The order was signed April 6 by Executive Secretary Pacquito Ochoa Jr. in behalf of the President.
The DILG postponed serving the order in consideration of the Commission on Election (Comelec) ban on suspension of local elective officials during the campaign period.
Comelec Chairman Atty. Andres Bautista only approved the suspension after the May 9 elections.
Cebu City councilor Margarita Osmeña will temporarily serve as acting mayor, while councilor Lea Japson sits as acting vice-mayor until June 30.
Rama sought re-election but lost to Tomas Osmeña, husband of Margarita Osmeña.
Mr. Osmeña obtained 267,222 votes while Rama got 233, 186.
Rama, however, refused to concede and said he will remain in his office while his supporters hold a prayer rally outside city hall. -- Report from June Perez, DZMM