No sacred cow in probe of BTAO-Espino altercation, mayor says

No sacred cow in probe of BTAO-Espino altercation, mayor says

“Whoever gets hit, I’m sorry, but that is how it will be. There is no sacred cow here.”

This was stressed by Bacolod City Mayor Alfredo Abelardo Benitez on Monday, October 30, after he ordered Colonel Noel Aliño, director of the Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO), to conduct an investigation on the alleged altercation incident between the personnel of the Bacolod Traffic Authority Office (BTAO) and Councilor Al Victor Espino on October 19.

Benitez said he will hold a close-door meeting with Major Junjie Liba, head of BTAO, and Espino on Tuesday, October 31, to clear up the alleged complaint.

On October 18, Salvallon, 59, a resident of Deca Homes, Barangay Cabug, reported to Police Station 8 that Espino went to their office at about 5:30 p.m. on the same day and allegedly shouted at him.

Salvallon, the building guard at BTAO, said Espino allegedly tapped his hand and threatened him.

He said Espino also lifted his t-shirt to the right waist to show his firearm.

He added that the incident was witnessed by his co-workers Psyche Rasco, Mary Ann De la Torre, and Major Junjie Liba, head of BTAO.

Espino explained that he went to BTAO as a public official and chairperson of the City Council committee on traffic to verify the complaint of the nephew of his friend for alleged carnapping.

He said that when he entered the BTAO office, Salvallon tapped his chest and told him not to enter the office.

Espino also denied that he threatened the complainant.

Benitez said that whatever the result of the investigation, that will be the course of action that he will take.

Liba earlier said Salvallon had already filed the criminal charges against Espino.

He said the complainant will also file the administrative complaint against Espino before the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).

On his part, Espino is also planning to file charges against Liba, Salvallon, a job order worker, and two other personnel of BTAO for accusing him of allegedly carrying a firearm inside the BTAO office and making threats.

Moreover, Benitez said they are also considering the proposal of Aliño to transfer the office of BTAO from the compound of BCPO to the other area.

He said they will gather all the information on Tuesday, including the result of the investigation and he will announce it immediately.*


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