A FRONTLINER in the Liloan Municipal Government’s response to the health crisis brought by the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) was reportedly harassed and sent to detention by a lawyer working for Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) on Friday, Aug. 7, 2020.
The incident involving Liloan ambulance driver Rocklief Mondigo drew the ire of Liloan Mayor Ma. Esperanza Christina Frasco, who condemned the lawyer and promised to take legal action against him.
Last Aug. 7, Mondigo was transporting a pregnant woman to the VSMMC in Cebu City.
Upon arriving at the hospital, Mondigo sounded the ambulance’s siren as there was a man blocking his way. He wanted the person, who turned out to be VSMMC chief administrator Paul Gino Lopez, to move out of the area where he could park the ambulance and drop off the pregnant woman.
Lopez, a lawyer, reportedly got irked. He responded by hitting the ambulance. This resulted in an argument between Lopez and Mondigo.
Mondigo was surprised when Lopez ordered hospital security guards to arrest him, justifying it as a citizen’s arrest.
A Cebu City Police Office report on the incident states that Lopez had Mondigo arrested because the ambulance driver committed unjust vexation for causing him “emotional distress.”
Mondigon had insisted on dropping off the pregnant woman at the emergency room before going to the police station with the security personnel. He was detained from Aug. 7 to Sunday evening, Aug. 9 without charges filed against him.
According to Frasco, the incident did not only cause inconvenience to Mondigo and the pregnant woman but also to Liloan residents.
The records of the Liloan Municipal Health Office showed that Liloan lost the service of one of its ambulances for 24 hours because its driver was detained. There was also a total of six hours’ delay in the transfer of two Covid-19 positive patients, one of whom was a dialysis patient.
After learning about the incident, Frasco called VSMMC Chief Dr. Gerardo Aquino and requested his assistance to immediately release Mondigo.
Aquino promised Frasco that he would investigate Lopez, who said he would not be filing any complaint against Mondigo.
Sunstar Cebu tried to get Lopez’s side through multiple calls and text messages. But the lawyer did not respond. (KFD)