Pure harassment, city lawyer says of case filed against him

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Monday, July 21, 2014


CEBU City Legal Office chief Jerone Castillo describes the case filed against him before the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas as “pure harassment.”

The case was filed against him for serving as part-owner and part-officer of a business establishment.

Arman Perez, executive director of Transparency and Accountability for Good Governance, Empowerment and Development (Tagged) Inc. filed the complaint against Castillo last week for being the vice president for administration services of Kwyne Sales and Service Plaza Inc.

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Perez’s complaint is for serious dishonesty, breach of public trust, grave misconduct, grave abuse of authority and conduct unbecoming of a public officer.

Perez said Castillo violated the Philippine Constitution, the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Law and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines’ Code of Professional Responsibility as it disallows lawyers in government to use their public position to promote their private interest.

In an interview yesterday, Castillo said the case is “pure harassment’ that came after he did not act on Perez’s appeal to settle the case of an employee of Kwyne.

Castillo said the female employee, whose relatives are friends with Perez, was placed under preventive suspension for allegedly falsifying signatures for refunds in their company and claiming the refunds for herself.

Castillo said Perez went to City Hall several weeks ago to discuss the matter.

“But I told him that this is a wrong office (City Legal Office). So I ask him to go to Kwyne. But instead of replying to the notice of suspension, ni-file na nuon sila og case,” he said.

Castillo said his connection with Kwyne is not in conflict with his position at City Hall, saying that their company doesn’t transact business with the City Government.

Kwyne, he said, is an accredited service provider of Samsung, thus, they repair cellphones, TV’s, and appliances, among others.

“Our clients are private,” he added.

In his complaint, Perez asked if Castillo had publicly divulged his connection with Kwyne.

Castillo then showed reporters yesterday a copy of his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth from 2013 until 2011. It was in October 2011 when he invested in Kwyne.

He had declared Kwyne, which is located along Osmeña Blvd., as his business interest and financial connection.

Because of this, Castillo said he is optimistic that the case filed against him will be dismissed by the Ombudsman.

“It is purely baseless. Even the factual allegations are very empty,” he said.

Castillo said, though, he will formally answer in the coming days the Perez’s complaint.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 22, 2014.

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