Nalzaro: Sexual harassment victim’s lament

“ADDING insult to the injury of my being.” This was how the female Capitol employee who filed a complaint for sexual harassment against Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO) chief Baltazar Tribunalo described herself. The complainant visited me at the GMA 7 broadcast complex last Thursday afternoon to seek an advice regarding her case against Tribunalo, who used to be her office head at the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (Penro).

The complainant was disappointed with how the Provincial Women’s Commission (PWC) headed by Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale is handling her complaint. She was invited by Magpale only once and had a “dialogue” with Tribunalo. After that, nothing happened to her case until now. She wants to know whether Tribunalo would be held liable and be disciplined or exonerated.

She also suspected that the vice governor sat on her case because of Gov. Hilario Davide III’s statement defending Tribunalo. The governor said politics was behind the complaint. Meaning that she was used by some quarters to destroy Davide’s administration.

She also lamented the statement of the governor calling her “disgrasyada.” “Ngano man diay og disgrasyada ko, wa na diay koy katungod nga moreklamo nga gibinastusan man ko og usa ka opisyal sa Capitol? Bisan man gani burikat makareklamo man. She said the governor did not even invite her to listen to her side.

She claimed that Magpale told her that the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) 7 checked her status and family background. She questioned why they should do that to her when she is the victim and the complainant. She said that had they asked her about her personal life, she could have told them. She admitted having a child from her former live-in partner years ago.

The complainant was a contractual employee at the Capitol in 1988. She resigned in 1994 when she got pregnant. She re-applied in 2004, then resigned again few years later. She re-applied in 2014. She is presently a job order employee assigned at the anti-illegal fishing task force, a unit attached to Penro.

Worse, the poor lady has not been recommended by her chief for the renewal of employment. She has until this month to work.

Is this the policy of the Davide administration to ignore sexual harassment complaints? Unya tangtangon pa gyud kay mireklamo? Where is fairness there?

The woman alleged that on June 15 this year when they had a mid-year assessment and budgeting session at Diamond Hotel., she chatted with her co-participants during a lunch break, That was when Tribunalo grabbed her butt by inserting his hand inside the back of her pants and said; “Ah sexy-ha gyud nimo day uy.”

As to why she only filed the case now when the incident happened several months ago, she said she opted to remain silent. But she could no longer bear the trauma she encountered. She is contemplating on filing a case against Tribunalo before the Visayas Ombudsman if PWC won’t resolve her complaint. She vowed to pursue the case sa her rights were violated.

Is Davide cuddling corrupt officials and those accused of sexual harassment? Sus, daghan kaayong mga salawayon diha sa Capitol but the governor is doing nothing. That’s what we call “complicit.” Nagpagoryo-goryo lang.
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