Labella vows to stay impartial amidst internal issues in city hall, party
TALISAY CITY, Cebu, Philippines—Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella said he will remain impartial as issues on sexual harassment in the City Hall is being investigated and as his own party mates in Barug PDP-Laban are engaged in lawsuits over false accusations.
Labella said this as Engineer Lorenzo Basamot, the former chief of Kamputhaw and the current divisions head of the Records and Archives Management Division of the Department of General Services (DGS), is currently facing sexual harassment complaints from three female colleagues in the city hall.
The mayor said he met with Basamot and the latter told him that he was innocent, which was the reason he filed a libel case against the three female colleagues on November 27, 2019, for maligning his name to the media even before they could even file a case.
The alleged victims already filed a complaint at the City Legal Office (CLO), which has been tasked by Labella to form a five-lawyer team to handle the case.
“I put my faith on the City Legal Office that they will conduct a thorough investigation on the case. I will not dip my finger on this issue, I will never dip my fingers on any investigation,” said the mayor in an interview on November 29, 2019.
Similarly, Labella also said he will remain impartial in the ongoing feud between his party mates Councilors Prisca Niña Mabatid and former councilor, Pastor Alcover, Jr., and former Apas chief, Ramil Ayuman.
Alcover and Ayuman claimed that Mabatid had attempted to silence the alleged victims by asking them not to file a case against Basamot, who is Mabatid’s political ally.
These allegations were denied by Mabatid in a heavily worded speech during the City Council’s regular session on November 24, 2019.
She also filed a libel case against Alcover, Ayuman, and one of the alleged victims on November 28, 2019, for accusing her of “fixing” Basamot’s case.
“This goes to show democracy is alive in the country,” said Labella.
The mayor said the three parties can solve their personal issues and he will not allow these issues to affect the governance of the city. /bmjo
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