Pregnant spouse of Ronda vice mayor bashes female lawyer in Cebu City parking lot; placed under hospital arrest
Jealousy drove a pregnant wife to attack a female lawyer with a baseball bat on Thursday in Cebu City.
Pearl Ungab, who is seven weeks pregnant, is facing a criminal charge of frustrated murder after the victim, Jiecel Tiu, 30 filed a complaint yesterday.
The female lawyer denied having an affair with the woman’s husband, Vice Mayor Jonah John Ungab of Ronda town, whose law office she resigned from last year to avoid the wife’s jealousy over suspicions of an extra-marital affair.
Tiu’s injuires – bruises on the left shoulder and a wound in the left ear – were evident when she appeared before the Cebu City Prosecutor’s Office at 3 p.m. yesterday to file the complaint.
Mrs. Ungab, 41, was escorted to the Fuente police station then had to be brought to Vicente Memorial Medical Center after she reported she was “spotting” with traces of blood from her pregnancy.
Due to her condition, she was placed under hospital arrest.
The husband, who is also a lawyer, was not available for comment.
Mrs. Ungab was arrested at 5 p.m. on Thursday immediately after going after the female lawyer with a 30-inch baseball bat.
The lawyer was in her red Toyota Vios sedan about to leave the parking lot of Centro Maximo building when Mrs. Ungab arrived in a black Nissan Navarra pickup truck.
A street sweeper, Anecito LImpag, who said he saw the incident, described the attack to the inquest prosecutor. The bat was also presented by police as evidence.
Mrs. Ungab smashed the window at the back of the car, then allegedly rammed her Nissan Navarro into the lawyer’s sedan several times, before getting down to smash the driver’s side window with the bat.
“When the window got destoyed, she opened the door lock and hit me with the baseball bat,” said Tiu.
“I still had the seat belt on, so while sitting down, I decided to move my body and head to the left. But she still hit me with the baseball bat.”
The attack ended when a Citom traffic enforcer arrived and seized the bat from the angry wife.
Prosecutor Liceria Lofranco-Rabillas went to the hospital past 4 p.m. yesterday to hear the side of Mrs. Ungab.
“The respondent (Pearl) has to be present because this is an inquest proceeding,” she said.
For about 30 minutes, the prosecutor interviewed the pregnant wife, who was lying down in a private room with relatives accompanying her.
“I will resolve the case on Monday,” said the prosecutor after Mrs. Ungab waived a preliminary investigation on advice of her lawyers.
Rabillas said the recommended bail for frustrated murder is P40,000 but she has yet to evaluate the case to decide whether to file it in court or dismiss it.
Tiu waited outside with two lawyer-friends.
In an interview, Tiu said she “never” had an affair with Vice Mayor Ungab, a lawyer.
She said she used to work at the law firm Ungab Gealon and Associates for four years before she decided to voluntarily leave to appease Mrs. Ungab.
“Is this the first time she (Pearl) attacked me? No. Am I her first victim? No. Even before this incident happened, she already threatened me a number of times. On one occasion, she purposely bumped my body and glared at me,” Tiu said.
Tiu said she worked in the law firm since 2011 but left last year because Mrs. Ungab kept following her.
“She’s been fabricating stories and evidence against me although she never caught me having an affair with his husband because that is really not the case,” said Tiu.
In the violent encounter in the parking lot on Thursday, she said Mrs. Ungab blocked the path of her sedan and banged the car’s window with her fist.
“She tried to open the door. Since she could not do it, she ran back to her Nissan Navarra and I proceeded to exit the parking area. Then Pearl chased my car and smashed the passenger window at the back. I got really scared and proceeded to leave the parking area,” Tiu said.
Tiu said she sped to the Citom office along Echavez Extension in barangay Cogon Ramos, Cebu City. But the angry wife who followed her got down from her truck and swung the baseball bat, smashing the driver’s window.
She then opened the door lock and struck the lady lawyer.
According to the police, Mrs. Ungab earlier said she just wanted to take revenge after Tiu allegedly fired pepper spray on her face, a charge the lawyer denied.
Vice Mayor Ungab was not present in the inquest proceedings to explain the complicated situation.
Based on records at the Cebu City Prosecutors’ Office, Vice Mayor Ungab, was earlier charged with sexual harassment by a student in a university in Cebu City.
According to the student, she and Ungab had a relationship and that she bore a child with the lawyer. The student is pursuing the case to press the vice mayor to meet his obligation to provide financial support.