Benedicto accepts 2-month suspension, thanks City Council for his ‘vacation’

ZAPATERA Barangay Captain Francisco Benedicto will not challenge the two-month preventive suspension imposed by the Cebu City Council on him, saying accepting the decision would give him a 60-day vacation with his family.

“I’m not bothered. Thanks for the vacation,” he said.

Benedicto, an ally of former mayor Tomas Osmeña, promised to return to his job with more energy after serving the suspension.

The Council’s Committee of Three recommended to suspend the village official over sexual harassment and corruption complaints that were filed against him.

On Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019, the 15 councilors present during the regular session voted equally for and against the suspension (7-7) with one abstention. Vice Mayor Michael Rama, the presiding officer, broke the tie by voting in favor of Benedicto’s suspension.

After the Council’s decision, Benedicto said he received advice from his friends and political allies, to fight the suspension. However, his family told him to go on vacation as they have other problems to deal with.

Benedicto said the complainants were angry at him for not fulfilling their demand to kick out a barangay worker.

“I asked them for the reasons why they want me to fire the employee. All they gave were personal reasons. So, I did not fire the employee,” he said in a mix of Cebuano and English.

Benedicto said he had expected the Council would suspend him as he is not an ally of Mayor Edgardo Labella, Osmeña’s political rival.

Labella is expected to implement the suspension order any time this week. (JCT)