Garganera, 46 brgy officials cleared of Margot case
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.
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.