CEBU City Market Administrator, lawyer Winifredo Orcullo Jr., failed to sit as caretaker of Barangay Ermita on Friday morning (February 10) as the access to the village chief's office was padlocked.

Orcullo, who was accompanied by Department of Interior and Local Government City Director Joyevelyn Calvo and Senior Police Officer 1 Adonis Dumpit, was supposed to check the barangay's transactions, but was barred from entering.

Suspended barangay captain Felicisimo Rupinta, who went to the building upon learning that acting mayor Edgardo Labella was on his way, said barangay secretary Erwin Peñaford locked the building as most of the personnel went to the Court of Appeals to support Rupinta's court hearing.

Rupinta said Peñaford padlocked the building, fearing that "bad elements would plant anything that could further taint the village officials reputation."

The building was opened again at 12 p.m. Friday, but Orcullo did not return.

Rupinta and his seven councilors were preventively suspended for six months by the Office of the Ombudsman Visayas after they allegedly failed to cooperate with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency during a drug raid last year.

The suspended councilors are Marky Rizaldy Miral, Antonieto Flores, Ryan Jay Rosas, Alio Tamundo, Domingo Ando, Maria Bianghug and Wilbert Flores. (RTF/SunStar Cebu)