CEBU City Mayor Tomas Osmeña yesterday warned he will sue Buot Taup Barangay Captain Richie Sibla and possibly opposition leader Jonathan Guar-do if basketball boards in the barangay that the City Government replaced last week are tampered with.
He said that if Sibla will challenge him, he will sue the latter. And if Sibla will say he was just following Guardo’s orders, the mayor will also sue the businessman.
“They’re the ones vandalizing and terrorizing the city (by replacing City Hall’s boards)… What right does he has to rip off City property?” the mayor said.
“Let him challenge me, I will file. Then he will ask the court to postpone it till after the elections… If he will say Guardo ordered him, then I will include Guardo,” the mayor said.
The statement was also a dig at Guardo, whom he sued along with two Sun.Star journalists for libel. Guardo had asked the City Prosecutor’s Office to postpone its resolution of the complaint till after the elections on May 10.
Informed of Osmeña’s plans, Guardo chuckled, and said he welcomes whatever complaint the mayor will file against him.
He advised the mayor to focus on the infrastructure needs of Buot Taup, particularly the construction of bridges, so residents will no longer have to wade across the river.
He said the mayor should spare Buot Taup, with just over 600 registered voters, from their political conflict.
Unknown to the mayor, the City’s basketball boards were indeed replaced with those of Guardo’s.
Sibla told Sun.Star Cebu that youths in the barangay were angered by the entry of politics in their summer tournament.
They were the ones who replaced the boards.
He said the mayor has no basis to sue him because he was at home when the boards were replaced. He was only told about it later on.
“I didn’t abuse City property. Civilians were the ones who took the City’s board down, and I wasn’t in the area when it happened. So what case will he file against me?” Sibla said in Cebuano.
He cried foul when the barangay’s basketball board was torn down last Friday by City Hall’s demolition team, with the assistance of police, and replaced with a City-owned board.
Sibla said there was a heated argument beforehand but they weren’t able to stop the removal of the board since the Squatters Prevention and Encroachment Elimination Division team was accompanied by police.
The City Hall team was allegedly guided by Baran-gay Councilor Rosalita Callino, a former barangay captain and an ally of the mayor.