THE Office of the Ombudsman has dismissed a string of criminal and administrative complaints that a barangay councilman filed against Cebu City Councilor Margarita Osmeña and three others over the former’s arrest for his alleged failure to return a City Government-issued vehicle in 2016.
In a resolution, Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer 1 Raphael Lorenzo Pangalangan dismissed for lack of probable cause the criminal cases that Labangon Barangay Councilman Rodulfo Tabasa lodged against Osmeña, General Services Office (GSO) chief Ronald Malacora, and GSO personnel Kenneth Amar and Rafael Cabonilas for kidnapping, serious illegal detention and violation of the Revised Penal Code (RPC).
The same resolution, which Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales approved, also dismissed the administrative complaint for grave misconduct, abuse of authority and oppression against the respondents.
Pangalangan said some elements of the crime that the respondents allegedly committed were not present.
“The legality of the detention was already addressed by the Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office, which declared that the complainant was violating Article 221 (failure to make delivery of public funds or property) of the RPC when he was arrested. Thus, the detainment of complainant was in fact a warrantless arrest made in accordance with Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure,” he said.
Sought for comment about the development, Osmeña said she is thankful that the complaints were dismissed. She said it only proves that she did what was right.
“This will put everything to an end. As I said before, I was just doing my job,” she said.
GSO personnel reportedly picked up Tabasa last June 10, 2016 after he failed to return a City Hall-issued vehicle.
Osmeña, in her capacity as acting mayor, had issued a memorandum in May 2016 recalling all City-issued vehicles to the barangays for inventory. (RVC)