Police report against barangay chiefs

ACTING Cebu City Mayor Margarita “Margot” Osmena filed a police report yesterday against several barangay captains for their failure to return City Hall-issued vehicles.

In filing a report before the Cebu City Investigation and Detective Management Branch (CIDMB), Osmeña, however, clarified that it was just for record purposes.

“First step pa ang pagpa-blotter. I just wanted to follow the process. This is for record purposes only,” said Osmeña.

There are 59 vehicles in 44 barangays that are yet to be turned over to City Hall. Some of the barangay officials have two or more vehicles to return.

Together with her special assistant to the City Legal Office, lawyer Eleodoro Diaz IV, Osmeña also submitted a list of the barangay captains with the corresponding models of the vehicles to the CIDMB.

“We will see what their next move is,” she said.

Osmeña said that the recall of the City Hall-issued vehicles was only meant for inventory. She assured that these will be given back to the officials after the inventory.

Included in the list are Barangay Captain Joel Garganera of Tinago, Ramil Ayuman of Apas, Phillip Zafra of Tisa, Althea Lim of Pardo, Yvonne Feliciano of Calamba and Ronaldo Labitad of Pamutan.

According to the police blotter, if the barangay captains named in the list still fail to return their vehicles, they will be violating Republic Act (RA) 1060, or the Malversation of Public Funds or Property, and RA 6539, or the Anti-Carnapping Law.

“Let’s see what they’ll do,” Osmeña said.

Diaz encouraged the barangay captains to return the vehicles pursuant to the Department of Interior and Local Government 7 memorandum circular.

“How can we make a proper inventory of the vehicles if they will not return all of these?” Diaz said.

Police Regional Office (PRO) 7 Director Patrocinio Comendador Jr. said that if there is a request for an investigation, the police will comply.

For his part, Ayuman of Barangay Apas said he and the other barangay captains are still waiting for Osmena’s reply to a letter of reconsideration they submitted to her office last Tuesday.

I-uli man gud na siya. Ang amo lang kay clarification on their end ba kay gitarung gud na sa ordinansa adtong 2012 ang pag-issue sa mga sakyanan (We will return the cars. What we want is clarification on their end because the 2012 ordinance on the issuance of the vehicles was clear),” Ayuman said in a phone interview with Sun.Star Cebu.

Ayuman said that the recall of the City-issued vehicle was unusual. Before, Ayuman said the City Government would just send someone to the barangays to check the vehicles.

He said that they will return the vehicles as soon as they will have Osmeña’s reply.

He said the vehicles are important to them because these are being used to respond to emergency cases and for patrolling.

He cited a recent accident in the mountain barangay of Lusaran where the barangay captain, Elvis Narra, has been declared in critical condition after a bad turn in a blind curve while driving his motorcycle.

Narra returned his City-issued vehicle, a Toyota Hilux, in the morning before the accident.

Ayuman said he did not want to blame anybody but if the vehicle was not returned to City Hall this may have been used to immediately bring Narra to a hospital the soonest possible time.

Narra, who slipped into coma, has been confined in the intensive care unit of the Perpetual Succour Hospital.

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