SEVEN barangay captains in Cebu City are facing criminal complaints for failing to return their City Government-issued vehicles. 

Acting Mayor Margarita Osmeña, through the City Legal Office, filed the case yesterday afternoon before the Cebu City Fiscals Office.

A total of 12 vehicles are not yet returned by the officials.

Kanang seven gahi kaayo og ulo. Kana na lang sila ang wala kauli (Those seven officials are hard-headed),” said Osmeña. 

Named respondents in the case are Association of Barangay Councils president and Tisa Barangay Captain Philip Zafra, Tinago Barangay Captain Joel Garganera, Apas Barangay Captain Ramil Ayuman, Sambag I Barangay Captain Lemar Alcover, Basak Pardo Barangay Captain Yolandito Cagang, Tagba-o Barangay Captain Anna Tabal and Buot Barangay Captain Rosalita Callino.

The city lawyers cited two grounds in the filing of the case. These are violations of Article 221 and 231 of the Revised Penal Code. 

City Legal Office chief Atty. Eleodoro Diaz IV said Article 221 will deal with the failure of the barangay captains to deliver public funds or properties.

The law states that this provision “shall apply to any public officer who, being ordered by competent authority to deliver any property in his custody or under his administration, shall refuse to make such delivery.”

Article 231, on the other hand, Diaz said, pertains to the “open disobedience” of the barangay officials to follow Osmeña’s memorandum dated May 17 recalling all city-issued vehicles.

Diaz said the criminal charges filed against the barangay captains are on top of the administrative case filed by Osmeña against 47 barangay officials before the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas. 

Admin

The 40 other officials have since returned their vehicles after the administrative charges against them were filed last June 2.

Zafra said he is not surprised. 

“What else is new? We expect the worst,” he said.

Zafra said they are ready to answer the criminal charge against them once they receive a copy of the case.

ABC chief

Zafra is firm on his stand that he will be the last person to return his vehicle as long as there are also other barangay captains who wont return theirs considering that he is the ABC chief.

Garganera, in a separate interview, echoed the sentiments of Zafra. 

“I am not surprised. Mao na man na ilang gipangbuhat ron. Nothing is new but ila man sad nang katungod nga mokiha. Basta kami, we will defend ourselves (It’s their right file charges),” he said.

Garganera, who is the ABC vice president, said he will not return his vehicle as long as there are other barangay officials who have not also returned theirs.