Mike tells Tomas: Justify city gov’t seal on US Dodge car

Posted on September 12, 2012

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A Dodge Charger with a Cebu city seal and police siren was used to escort convoy of Cebu City Rep Tomas Osmeña when he was still mayor. (FILE PHOTO)

“Tarong ba na (Is that right)?”

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama posed this question to Cebu City Rep. Tomas Osmeña for keeping two US-made Dodge cars in his home, one of them still marked as a police car with the seal of the Cebu City government.

Rama, who arrived in Cebu City from his China trip last Monday, said he will ask the Ombudsman-Visayas and the Department of Interior and Local Governments (DILG) to investigate Osmeña for using the city’s seal on one of the vehicles.

The sedans used to be owned by Bigfoot Entertainment owner Michael Gleissner, a friend and supporter of Osmeña, and was used as security vehicles during Osmeña’s term as mayor. The congressman said his sister Minnie later purchased them because Gleissner didn’t want to donate them to the city anymore.

Meanwhile, Rama said questions about the vanity plate marked “MAYOR in his own government-issued Toyota Grandia van were not a problem.

“I had the original license plate restored together with the vanity plate. Why doesn’t he (Osmeña) do the same with the Dodge cars in his possession?” the told reporters yesterday.

The mayor said he would not take the bait of Osmeña’s challenge to file a complaint with the Ombudsman and DILG but may still do it if no action is taken.

Rama said it’s best for the two offices to investigate the matter to avoid any political color.

“If they don’t work on it, then the mayor will be compelled (to act),”” Rama said.

Rama said he was not the first to question the status of the two US-made cars parked in Osmena’s home: “I just read about it in the newspapers and was asked to comment.”

A photo of one the Dodge Chargers, a black-and-white sedan that looks like a police patrol car was circulated in Facebook. It has a siren and blinkers.

The car was seen escorting the burial march for the late DILG secretary Jesse Robredo.

The other vehicle was painted white and is used for Osmena’s guests. /Edison A. delos Angeles, Correspondent  with Chief of Reporters Doris C. Bongcac

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