Bambi Beltran fights back; accuses Labella of authorizing the gathering of Edlab Riders
CEBU CITY, Philippines — It is now her turn to sue Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella for “allowing” the gathering of his supporters in violation of health and safety protocols.
Cebuana artist and entrepreneur Maria Victoria “Bambi” Beltran, on Tuesday, November 24, asked the Office of the Ombudsman in the Visayas to investigate Labella for allowing the November 8 gathering of members of the Edlab Riders at the Plaza Independencia.
Beltran said that such an act constitutes grave misconduct, conduct unbecoming of a public official, and violation of the City Ordinance 2566 that prohibits mass gathering while the city remains under health quarantine.
She filed her complaint two months after a trial court in Cebu City ordered dismissed the complaint which the police filed against her for writing a satirical post regarding the city’s coronavirus situation.
In her complaint affidavit, Beltran said that while Labella has denied giving his consent to the gathering of his supporters to celebrate their anniversary, social media posts that were made prior to the event, would say otherwise.
She said that on November 3, Edlab Riders posted images of their visit at the Office of the Mayor at City Hall. Group officials also announced in the same post that the mayor was expected to grace their event.
While it was true that Labella was not physically present during the November 8 gathering, he delivered a virtual message for his supporters, Beltran said.
Photos circulating on social media would show that hundreds of Labella supporters were at the Plaza Independencia for their anniversary celebration.
“This is a case of a mayor violating his own Executive Order restricting mass gathering and enforcing strict social distancing in the city. This is a case of a mayor violating an ordinance he himself signed into effect,” Beltran’s complaint reads.
Mayor Labella is yet to issue his official statement on Beltran’s accusations.
But in earlier statements, Labella said that he would welcome any investigation on the gathering of Edlab Riders.
Should a formal investigation take place, Labella said that Edlab Riders should be asked to explain the gathering.
Policemen in Cebu City already filed a complaint against the anniversary gathering organizers last week for violation of quarantine protocols. / dcb
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