‘I’m not a mistress’

CEBU. Lawyer Jiecel Tiu (center), in this photo taken last Friday in the Cebu City Prosecutor's Office, asks her former boss, Ronda Vice Mayor Jonnah John Ungab, to clear her name in a public statement. (Amper Campana)

LAWYER Jiecel Tiu yesterday urged her former boss, Ronda Vice Mayor Jonnah John Ungab, to speak up about the real score between them to put an end to the issue.

“If you still consider me as a friend, please make a public statement,” Tiu told a press conference. “Just this once, I would like to set matters straight, dili ko kabit (I am not a mistress).”

Tiu, accompanied by her sister-lawyers and lawyer Rex Fernandez, called for the press conference yesterday afternoon to “respond to the malicious and false accusations” hurled against her by Ungab’s wife, Pearl.

The Office of the Cebu City Prosecutor will file a criminal case in court today against Pearl for allegedly attacking Tiu with a baseball bat last Feb. 26.

The case will be elevated to the Regional Trial Court after Pearl chose not to undergo a preliminary investigation on the complaint for frustrated murder filed by Tiu, said Assistant City Prosecutor Liceria Rabillas. 

Rabillas has yet to determine whether to file a case for frustrated murder or downgrade the complaint to physical injuries.

Although she already filed a complaint for frustrated murder against Pearl, Tiu said there was a need to clarify some issues since “my reputation has already been tried in the court of public opinion.” Her fellow lawyers also encouraged her to clarify rumors of her having an affair with the vice mayor.

Sun.Star Cebu sent Vice Mayor Ungab a text message and tried to call him but he chose not to answer.

Told to resign

Also yesterday, Tiu submitted her supplemental complaint-affidavit and additional affidavits of her witness against Pearl.

Tiu, 31, filed the complaint last Feb. 27 accusing Pearl, 41, of frustrated murder after the latter allegedly rammed her Toyota Vios with pick-up truck, then hit her with a baseball bat in Barangay Cogon-Ramos.

In the press conference held in the office of Atty. Fernandez, Tiu said that Pearl had been harassing her prior to the Feb. 26 incident. Tiu used to work as an associate lawyer in the Ungab, Gealon and Associates law office for four years, until she resigned last year to avoid a confrontation with Pearl.

Tiu said that it was Atty. Ungab who requested her to resign from the law office.

But after she left Ungab’s law office and joined another firm, Tiu said, the vice mayor’s wife did not stop harassing her. “Sige sya gukod nako. Iya ko gi-hunting. Sige siya text nako (She kept going after me and texting me),” she said.

It was only last year, Tiu said, that she learned that Pearl suspected her of having an affair with the vice mayor.

Tiu also denied Pearl’s claim that she (Tiu) tried to hit the vice mayor’s wife and their two-year-old child in the parking lot of Centro Maximo Bldg. along D. Jakosalem St. last Feb. 26.

Tiu’s younger sister, Alisha, said that Pearl attacked them every time she and her husband quarreled. “This is not the first time. That is Pearl’s way to win back her husband,” she said.

Kami tanan pamilya iyang giapil. She has made false accusations against my sister. I demanded for evidence. Why hasn’t she presented any? Pearl is a paranoid, violent person and a very jealous wife,” said Alisha, who is also a lawyer.

Alisha further alleged that Pearl once trespassed on their house in Minglanilla and looked for Jiecel, saying it was a “matter of life and death.” Alisha said that the parents of the vice mayor also sent a letter to the Tius, purportedly to “talk about the alleged affair.”

Atty. Fernandez urged Ungab and his family members to issue a public apology and to clarify the issue. Fernandez said they will file complaints for trespassing, libel, grave oral defamation and damages, among others, against the vice mayor’s wife.
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