Gar­gan­era, 46 brgy of­fi­cials cleared of Mar­got case

The Freeman - - FRONT PAGE - Odessa O. Leyson, Staff Mem­ber

The Of­fice of the Om­buds­man in the Visayas has cleared Cebu City Coun­cilor Joel Gar­gan­era and at least 46 barangay of­fi­cials from charges filed against them by Coun­cilor Mar­garita Os­meña over their fail­ure to re­turn city-is­sued ve­hi­cles.

In an or­der dated Au­gust 9, 2017, the Om­buds­man said Os­meña’s com­plaint “failed to spec­ify un­due in­jury, or the ac­tual dam­ages, that the city or any per­son suf­fered by virtue of re­spon­dents’ fail­ure to re­turn the ve­hi­cles.”

Be­cause of this, there not enough ground to in­dict the of­fi­cials of the crimes charged, both crim­i­nally and ad­min­is­tra­tively.

Os­meña sued them for car­nap­ping, malver­sa­tion of pub­lic prop­erty, vi­o­la­tion of the Anti-Graft and Cor­rupt Prac­tices Act Sec­tion 3-E or “caus­ing un­due in­jury to any party in­clud­ing the gov­ern­ment,” and vi­o­la­tion of the Code of Con­duct and Eth­i­cal Stan­dards for Pub­lic Of­fi­cials.

She also sued them for gross mis­con­duct, gross in­sub­or­di­na­tion, and grave abuse of author­ity.

Paul Elmer Cle­mente, Deputy Om­buds­man for the Visayas, said the of­fi­cials did not com­mit the al­le­ga­tions for they re­main com­mit­ted to pub­lic in­ter­est.

He pointed out that the of­fi­cials even clar­i­fied if Os­meña's or­der to re­turn the ve­hi­cles cov­ered the ve­hi­cles that were used for emer­gency pur­poses.

It was on May 17, 2016 when she was act­ing mayor when Os­meña is­sued a mem­o­ran­dum di­rect­ing all barangay of­fi­cials and em­ploy­ees of the Cebu City gov­ern­ment to re­turn all ve­hi­cles the city is­sued to them for in­ven­tory.

On June 1, 2016, she filed charges against those who failed to meet her May 24 dead­line.

Gar­gan­era said he is grate­ful of the Om­buds­man rul­ing and that Os­meña may be charged for what she did.

“She can be guilty of ma­li­cious pros­e­cu­tion and we have enough grounds that she'll be ad­min­is­tra­tively li­able for grave op­pres­sion and mis­con­duct. That is just my thought,” he said.

Apas Barangay Cap­tain Ramil Ayu­man, one of those Os­meña sued, also said, “Sa iya­hang gi­pang-file namo, wala gyud tawn mi­naka­com­mit ana uy. Kanus-a tawn mi naka-gain? Kanus-a mi naka-car­nap? Mao nang li­pay kaayo mi sa de­sisyon sa Om­buds­man nga wala gyuy igong base­han ang mga akusasyon.”

Aside from Ayu­man, the other barangay cap­tains the Om­buds­man cleared are Lorna Da­ma­le­rio of Sa­pang­daku, Jerome Lim of Sta. Cruz, Ro­ge­lio Res­ur­rec­cion of Suba, Noli Ann Al­cover of Ag­sun­got, Le­mar Al­cover of Sam­bag I, Eliodoro Sanchez of Busay, Carl Stephen Be­larmino of Sam­bag II, Ed­uardo Lau­ron of Car­reta, Manuel Gi­meno of T. Padilla, Tre­fo­nio Le­quigan Jr. of Kam­puthaw, Ale­jan­dro Bor­res of Toong, An­to­nio Caruzca of Pahina San Ni­co­las, Feli­cisimo Rupinta of Er­mita, Amelo Lopez of Busay, Wine­fredo Macario of Sud­lon II, Jose Navarro of Punta, Ce­sar Dolorito of Babag, Rian Tante of Luz, Coun­cilor Eleazar Mabini of Babag, Ramon Ylaya of Sinsin, Coun­cilor Ro­dulfo Tabasa of La­ban­gon, Alan Mase­campo of San An­to­nio, and Dante Tabu­cal of Sud­lon I.

The other barangay of­fi­cials cleared of charges are Ana Ta­bal of Barangay Tag­bao, Rey­nald Lau­ron of Barangay Cam­binocot, Ros­alita Callino of Barangay Buot, Jer­son Cadam­pog of Barangay Pung-ol, Manny Pepito of Barangay Mabini, Phillip Zafra of Barangay Tisa, Joel Sable Sr. of Barangay Suba, Jovito Tab­o­rada Jr. of Barangay Lahug, and Nerissa An­toli­hao of Barangay Bud­laan.

Also cleared are Ron­aldo Labitad of Barangay Pa­mu­tan, Maria Ve­lasquez of Barangay Pu­lang­bato, Al­tea Lim of Barangay Pardo, the late Elvis Narra of Barangay Ad­laon, Yolan­dito Ca­gang of Barangay Basak Pardo, Nor­man Navarro of Barangay Basak San Ni­co­las, Luther­lee Soon of Barangay Inayawan,Yvonne Feli­ciano of Barangay Calamba, Raquel Avila of Barangay Ka­m­a­gayan, Or­land Her­rera of Barangay Guba, Ze­naida Colina of Barangay Ba­cayan, and Fritz Ger­ald Her­rera of Barangay Lorega San Miguel.

In a sep­a­rate in­ter­view, Os­meña said the re­spon­dents just waited for her to file a case be­fore they re­turned the ve­hi­cles.

“The fact that they re­turned the ve­hi­cles, it proves that I made my point al­ready but we had to file a case for them to re­turn, so of course they re­turned, no more case,” she said.

Os­meña said she has no plans of ap­peal­ing the or­der.

“Ay nalang uy, you know I can­not spend my time do­ing things like that. I have bet­ter things to do. Basta the point has been made. Basta we just pre­sented the as­sets of the city in place, it's okay,” she added.

ALDO NELBERT BANAYNAL

Devo­tees light the night with can­dles as they walk down Os­meña Boule­vard to the Basil­ica del Santo Niño in Cebu City in the Mar­ian Pro­ces­sion last night. The pro­ces­sion was in line with the cen­te­nary cel­e­bra­tion of the ap­pari­tion of the Our Lady of Fa­tima.

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