Acting mayor: 'Intimidator' sanctioned

Cebu City Acting Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia.
Cebu City Acting Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia.Arkeen Larisma

THE Cebu City Hall employee who harassed one of the four regular employees in the assessor’s office following the preventive suspension of Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama earlier this month has already been sanctioned.

This was the announcement of Acting Mayor Raymond Alvin Garcia in a press conference on Thursday, May 23, 2024.

He said the investigation into the matter was over.

However, Garcia did not specify what punishment was meted to Irene del Prado, who was captured on video intimidating Sybil Ann Ybañez.

“I always mean business. Katong harassment human na (The harassment matter is a done deal). We already implemented the sanction. Ayaw na lang mo pangutana basta (Stop asking questions because) we’ve given the sanction,” he said.

In a text message on Friday, May 24, Ybañez confirmed that the issue was settled last Monday, May 13, yet.

However, she said she has no idea what sanction del Prado is facing.

Acting City Administrator Christine Joyce Batucan, in a text message last May 18, confirmed that del Prado had apologized to both the public and the acting mayor.

On May 13, Garcia ordered an investigation into the intimidation of four employees whose complaints resulted in Rama’s preventive suspension.

A clarificatory hearing was scheduled for last Monday, May 20.

Complainants Ybañez, Filomena Atuel, Maria Almicar Diongzon, and Chito Dela Cerna filed a criminal and administrative complaint on Feb. 23 against Rama and seven others for violations of Section 3(e) and (1) of Republic Act 3019, also known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, as well as for Grave Misconduct, Conduct Unbecoming of a Public Officer, Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service, Grave Abuse of Authority (Oppression), and Violation of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.

Aside from Rama, other respondents included City Administrator Collin Rosell, Office of the City Assessor officer-in-charge Dr. Maria Theresa Rosell and five others.

They were preventively suspended by the Office of the Ombudsman for six months over the reassignments and the non-release of salaries of four regular city employees that had been assigned at the assessor’s office. / AML

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