Barangay Treasurer asks Ombuds to probe Sta. Fe mayor Esgana
The treasurer of Barangay Talisay in Sta. Fe town, Bantayan Island has asked the Office of the Ombudsman for the Visayas to investigate Mayor Jose Esgana on accusations of grave misconduct and unlawful arrest.
Vicente Ilustrisimo filed his complaints against Esgana before the Ombudsman-Visayas on June 18 (Monday).
In his three-page affidavit, Ilustrisimo alleged that Esgana and his “goons” confronted and threatened him early morning of May 14, 2018 which is also the date of the Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections.
Mayor Esgana said the filing of an Ombudsman case against him was politically motivated.
He also denied keeping goons.
Instead, he was accompanied by his two drivers and town policemen when he confronted Ilustrisimo on May 14.
The mayor said that he called Ilustrisimo’s attention against harassing voters and asking them to support the re-election bid of Talisay Barangay Captain Adoracion Cabrera.
Esgana’s son Joanes Paulo sought election against Cabrera who eventually won the election.
“Ilustrisimo was harassing and threatening voters not to vote my candidate for barangay captain, to the extent of barricading the road,” Esgana said on a text message to Cebu Daily News.
In fact, Esgana said he filed a complaint for violation of the Omnibus Election Code against Ilustrisimo on May 15 before the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office.
But Ilustrisimo told a different story.
In his affidavit, Ilustrimo alleged that Esgana, who was very furious then, pointed a finger at him and told him “ipa-audit tika ug ang yuta nga inyong napalit nga gitukoran sa barangay hall wala sa proseso (I will have you subjected to an audit including the property which your bought and where the barangay hall now stands because it did not undergo the required government processes).”
“I was so scared because I was surrounded by his goons,” said Ilustrisimo in an affidavit which he submitted to the Ombudsman.
Not contented, Mayor Esgana accused him of violating the Omnibus Election Code, personally arrested him and turned him over to the Sta. Fe Police Station.
Esgana, he said, accused him of installing a tent which obstructed the way of vehicles passing Sitio Mahayahay in Barangay Talisay.
He set up the tent close to a nephew’s home for use in the birthday party of his grandson which coincided with the date of the barangay and SK elections.
“Worthy to mention that the tent never blocked the passageways. It was clearly not placed along the street,” said Ilustrisimo’s affidavit.
Mayor Esgana told CDN that the policemen who were with him witnessed his confrontation with Ilustrisimo.
He also has photos of the tent which Ilustrisimo used to obstructed the Sitio Mahayahay road which is the residents only access to their designated polling centers.
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