Sitoy suspends 7 Cordova barangay officials

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Sunday, July 13, 2014


CORDOVA Mayor Adelino Sitoy has ordered the preventive suspension of a barangay captain, a councilor and four barangay tanods following a commotion during a dance.

Sitoy also issued a 60-day preventive suspension against the barangay treasurer of Barangay Ibabao, Cordova for allegedly forging signatures in the barangay’s payroll.

Barangay Ibabao treasurer Junbert Bentulan’s suspension is effective from June 26 to August 25.

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The suspension order was dated June 25 and was received by Bentulan on the next day.

The 60-day suspension of Ibabao Barangay Captain Chito Bentazal, councilor Marvin Bentazal and tanods Emiliano Bentazal, Teodoro Berdin, Efren Macillana and James Tampus was effective last July 8.

The suspension stemmed from a commotion that took place last May 10 when the barangay captain allegedly stopped the installation of sound system and lights for a benefit dance in the barangay’s basketball court.

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In an affidavit, Ruben Co, 50, chairman of the barangay’s fiesta committee on entertainment, alleged that an angry Bentazal, her councilor brother and the four tanods stopped the setting up of the sound system and the lights although the barangay captain signed a clearance for the holding of the activity and a permit from the Mayor’s Office had been secured.

But Co said Bentazal denied the permit, saying he had no signature on it. “I was personally prevented by Barangay Captain Bentazal by means of violence, threat and intimidation from doing something not prohibited by law,” Co said in the affidavit.

During their argument, Co said he noticed that the councilor was carrying a black tennis racket bag with a firearm inside. He said he called a police officer stationed nearby as he tried to snatch the bag away from the councilor.

SPO3 Rolan Pogoy, Co said, asked the councilor to surrender the firearm but the latter refused.

Co said the police officer tried to arrest the councilor but the latter resisted. The barangay captain and the tanods came to the councilor’s defense, resulting in a “wrestling bout.”

Sub-machine gun

The police officer, according to Co’s affidavit, managed to arrest the councilor and recover from his possession a KG9 9mm sub-machine pistol and a magazine loaded with 15 live bullets.

Sun.Star Cebu repeatedly called the mobile phone of Bentazal to get his comment but the person who answered the call said the barangay captain was not around.

Sitoy suspended the tanods after they failed to respond to the show cause order within 10 days. The tanods were accused by Co of oppression, misconduct in office, dereliction of duty and abuse of authority

Co accused the barangay captain and the councilor of dereliction of duty and abuse of authority. Their suspension was recommended by the Municipal Council, presided by Vice Mayor Therese Sitoy-Cho.

Barangay Councilor Jorge Dinoy assumed as acting barangay captain.

A staff worker of Mayor Sitoy delivered the documents to the Sun.Star Cebu office yesterday.

On the barangay treasurer’s suspension, Sitoy said the issue started when the barangay decided to use the money which they won from the Expanded Green and Wholesome Environment (eGwen) Our Cebu program for the village’s clean and green project.

Sitoy said five complainants asked the town’s help after they learned that their names were printed in the payroll, which means they have worked for the project and have received a salary from the barangay.

The complainants are Dome Doroy, Joseph Ando, Roberto Limpangog, Delfen Gabunada and Jovencio Villeta.

They denied working for the project.

“Wa gyud ko mo-follow sa suspension (I did not follow the suspension),” Bentulan said, adding that the order was illegal. Bentulan believed it was politically motivated.

He said Sitoy have been running after him and the barangay captain after the mayor’s bet for the 2013 Barangay election did not win.

Sitoy sent a letter last June 9 to Bentulan asking him to answer the allegation.

In his letter dated June 18 addressed to Sitoy, Bentulan denied the allegations of Doroy, Ando, Limpangog, Gabunada and Villeta.

“The truth is that it was their own relatives and/or children who brought the time book and payroll to them for their signatures,” Bentulan said.

He said the case is already in the Office of the Ombudsman.

“The body in which the complaint is filed first, and which opts to take cognizance of the case, acquires jurisdiction to the exclusion of other tribunals exercising concurrent jurisdiction,” he said. FMG

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 14, 2014.

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