Briones: Sirao ‘joyride’

I FOUND a solution for Cebu City's street dwellers.

They should contact Sirao Barangay Councilor Flaviano Gabunada, and tell the councilman that they want to move to the mountain barangay. That way, the latter can send the City-issued vehicle to pick them up.

I mean, that's what he did to a resident of Talisay City, right? According to his daughter Jannen Arda, “they went to Talisay City to help a resident transfer her things to Barangay Sirao because the resident wanted to transfer her residency (in Barangay Sirao).”

Heck, the person whom Jannen Arda doesn't name is not even a constituent of the barangay or the city and yet her father risked everything to assist him or her. Talk about working above and beyond the call of duty. On a Sunday to boot.

Don't tell me they didn't drop by SM Seaside City. It's along the way, after all. A review of the mall's several closed-circuit TV cameras would confirm that.

Then Jannen Arda went on to wash her father's hands of any liability by passing the buck to Mayor Tomas Osmeña: “The fact that it is not in the hands of our barangay captain is not our discretion. It is the discretion of the mayor. We did not ask for it. He gave it with liberty.”

So by “giving” it to Gabunada “with liberty,” the known BOPK ally could do as he wish with the vehicle?

According to Barangay Captain Felix Limotan, who is identified with Team Rama, the use of a City Government vehicles requires a trip ticket signed by him. (The ticket contains the destination, purpose and duration of travel.) But has Gabunada been doing that? No, he has not, if Limotan is to be believed.

That the councilman allegedly parks the vehicle in his house and not the barangay hall also means Limotan has no way of knowing if the vehicle is being used to deliver basic services.

Limotan urged Gabunada to observe the law to avoid any trouble. He should know, the barangay captain was called to appear before the anti-graft office to explain over a similar problem some weeks ago.

That might explain why he doesn't plan on filing any complaint against the latter because, according to Limotan, he doesn't want any conflict with the latter. But that's out of his hands now.

Based on the Sun.Star Cebu report, and on the photo uploaded on Facebook, and on Limotan's accounts, and on Gabunada's own daughter's private message to the person who uploaded the photo (a screen shot of which was posted on Facebook), the councilman violated the law.

By traveling without a trip ticket alone, Gabunada could be liable for violating various laws, including the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, Revised Administrative Code of the Philippines, COA circulars, Government Accounting and Auditing Manual, among others.

Hmm. I wonder if the ombudsman will buy the helping-a-Talisay-resident-move-to-Sirao spiel?
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