CEBU

Town employees belie cops’ story on Gica arrest

SOME regular and contractual employees working for the Dumanjug municipal government have claimed that local police never arrested Mayor Efren Guntrano “Gungun” Gica at their municipal hall on Jan. 8, 2020.

In joint affidavits provided to SunStar Cebu by Gica’s mother, Marna, eight municipal hall employees attested that contrary to police claims that they arrested the mayor at 2 p.m. on the said date, he was actually officiating a wedding, was signing documents and met with visitors at the time.

The joint affidavits were signed by six job order employees and two regular employees, including Gica’s private secretary.

In their joint affidavits, the town employees attest that police didn’t arrest the mayor inside his office at 2 p.m. A media outlet, not SunStar, had reported that police arrested Gica in the town hall.

The affidavits were subscribed and sworn to before a notary public in Barili town on Jan. 14.

According to SunStar Cebu’s Jan. 9 report, local police claimed that Gica was arrested at his house in Barangay Poblacion, Dumanjug town at 2 p.m. on Jan. 8.

The local police officers, led by Police Maj. Ardiolito Cabagnot, served the arrest warrant against Gica. Following the arrest, Gica was able to post bail at a local court in Barili town on the same day.

Gica’s mother subsequently insisted that no “arrest” had taken place before Gica posted bail, and that instead Gica had “surrendered” to the court in Barili after receiving the warrant.

Gica is facing graft and corruption charges before the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas after he hired Filipino singer Bamboo Mañalac to sing in their town fiesta without undertaking a bidding.

After his arrest, Gica’s camp led by his father and lawyer Edgar Gica questioned the issuance of the arrest warrant by the Regional Trial Court Branch 59 in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental, saying it was “not the court of proper venue” to handle his son’s case.

The elder Gica said court staff there also denied them copies of the Information and supporting documents for the mayor to know the nature and cause of the accusation against him. (JKV)


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