Ex-barangay captain files complaint vs rival for ‘public humiliation’

Ex-barangay captain files complaint vs rival for ‘public humiliation’
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A DEFEATED barangay candidate in Mandaue City, Cebu filed a petition to suspend a newly elected official from service, accusing the latter of publicly humiliating him and exposing his alleged corrupt practices to the barangay personnel.

Former Casili barangay captain Vidal Cabatingan filed a complaint affidavit to the Mandaue City Council against newly elected Casili chief, Robert Santillana.

During Cabatingan’s term, Santillana accused him of corrupting the barangay and public funds for his family's business.

According to Cabatingan’s complaint, the incident occurred on January 11, 2024, during a courtesy visit to the barangay captain's office by the current Job Order (JO) and Clean and Green employees.

The event also served as the transition of service ceremony for the new village chief, Santillana, and the incumbent Cabatingan.

Cabatingan complained that rather than conducting a formal transition that involved discussions of his plans for improving the barangay, Santillana used the opportunity to spread serious allegations against him.

He believes that this was an attempt to tarnish his reputation after years of dedicated service as the barangay captain of Casili.

Cabatingan also said that Santillana accused him of hiring approximately 212 "ghost" employees to work at his restaurant and swimming pool.

Santillana claimed to have evidence of this but lost the copy of the hired employees.

Cabatingan also said that Santillana even threatened to take all his properties, claiming that they had been acquired through the hiring of these ghost employees.

He said the incident was witnessed by three JO workers, and he attached their statements to his affidavit.

In his complaint affidavit, Cabatingan denied all allegations and stressed that he had a successful family business even before he entered politics and became a barangay official.

"Humbly yet truthfully, my family has more than enough provisions to mend ourselves. We did not stop serving the constituents of Casili and Mandaue City, as it has become our undying passion," read a portion of his affidavit.

Cabatingan said that Santillana's accusations against him were simply motivated by political rivalries that arose during the recent Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Elections (BSKE) in October 2023.

He said despite professionally conceding defeat during the BSKE, Santillana has attempted to discredit his name and service.

This behavior, he added, demonstrates Santillana's misuse and abuse of his position as a public official, which violates sections 60 (c) and (e) of the Republic Act (RA) No 7160, or the Local Government Code of 1991, as well as sections 4 (b), (c), and (d) of RA 6713 of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officers and Employees.

Cabatingan has requested that the council suspend Santillana from service while the incident is being investigated.

In a text message sent to SunStar Cebu on Tuesday, February 20, Santillana said he has not yet received a copy of the complaint affidavit.

He also refused to comment on Cabatingan’s allegations, saying his lawyer is currently preparing a statement on the matter.

Despite the accusations, Santillana reassured the citizens of Casili that it would not hinder his services to the barangay.

Canduman barangay captain and president of Mandaue's Association of Barangay Captains Dante Borbajo informed SunStar Cebu on Monday, February 19, that the Committee on Rules and Privileges, headed by City Councilor Oscar del Castillo Jr., has yet to schedule a meeting to discuss the complaint affidavit.

Borbajo said that once the committee reviews the affidavit, a preliminary investigation will be conducted, where Cabatingan and Santillana will be called by the committee. (HIC)


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