Outgoing Mayor in Philippines strips office bare as term ends

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Manila, June 29 (IANS) A defeated veteran Philippines politician “gutted” his office days before he relinquished his post to his successor in the Philippines’ Cebu City.

Outgoing Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmena, whose term officially ends on Sunday, stripped his office bare, removing all the office fixtures, furniture, glass dividers, cabinets, ceiling, down to the ceramic tiles.

Published pictures and footage showed that even the washroom was left with raw concrete as all of the ceramic tiles had been taken out, Xinhua news agency reported.

Osmena told a local online news website in a text message that he spent his “personal money” to spruce up the office when he assumed charge three years ago, adding that the city council rejected his request for 2 million pesos (roughly $39,000) to renovate the Mayor’s office.

He said he spent for everything that was removed and took furniture out that was brought from his parents’ house.

According to news reports, incoming Cebu City Mayor Edgar Labella is mulling to file a case against Osmena for the destruction of the office.

Osmena has been in power in the city for more than 30 years, serving as Mayor of Cebu City from 1987 to 1995, from 2001 to 2010 and from 2016 to 2019. He also served as Congressman for the second district of Cebu City from 2010 to 2013.

He is a member of the influential Osmena clan in Cebu province in the Philippines. His father and brother were former senators, while his grandfather Sergio Osmena served as the fourth President of the Philippines.

Four members of the Osmena clan, including Tomas, ran in different positions in the May 13 mid-term elections but only one won.

–IANS

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