Time for reconciliation? Mayor Chan open to resolve issues with 7 village chiefs

By: Futch Anthony Inso - CDN Digital | June 17,2022 - 01:45 PM

LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu—Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan is open to reconciling with the seven barangay captains who filed a case against him before the Office of the Ombudsman for Malversation of Public Funds and violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices.

The village chiefs who filed a case on February 9, 2022, against the mayor were Association of Barangay Council (ABC) President and Bankal Barangay Captain Eduardo Cuizon, Eleonor Fontanoza of Gun-ob, Regina Ybañez ug Looc, Triponia Abayan of Tungasan, Joselito Tibon of Suba-Basbas, Reynaldo Tampus of Canjulao, and Rosalino Abing of Maribago.

The case stemmed due to alleged questionable purchases of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)-related items in the city worth P47 million in 202o and 2021. The case remains pending before the Ombudsman.

READ: 7 Lapu village chiefs file malversation, graft charges vs Mayor Chan, 12 others

Aside from the mayor, the barangay captains included in the complaint the members of the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC), some department heads, and the winning bidder of the transaction.

Chan, however, fired back and filed separate counter-charges of perjury and grave oral defamation against the seven barangay captains before the City Prosecutor’s Office in March, for allegedly twisting the facts and giving misleading and false narration, under oath, against the mayor and the other accused. 

READ: Far from over: Ahong files another criminal case vs 7 Lapu village chiefs

The barangay captains also filed a perjury case against the mayor, however, both the perjury cases filed by Chan and the barangay captains were dismissed by the prosecutor’s office.

But the grave oral defamation case filed by Chan was elevated to the court. On May 13, Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 53 Presiding Judge Anna Marie Militante issued an arrest warrant against the seven village chiefs and recommended bail of P36,000 for each of them.

On May 17, the seven barangay captains surrendered and posted bail before the Criminal Investigation Detection Group in Central Visayas (CIDG-7).

READ: 7 barangay captains charged by Mayor Chan surrender voluntarily

“Ang importante unity, panaghiusan sa LGU and the barangay. At least makita no nga the mayor is open, in open arms, I’m ready to embrace them if they are willing to makig-uli, reconciliation,” Chan said.

On June 12, 2022, during the city’s celebration of the 124th Independence Day, the barangay captains were seen attending the activity at the Liberty Shrine in Barangay Mactan, which Chan described as a “good sign.” 

Some of them were also seen attending the 61st Charter Day celebration of the city on Friday, June 17, 2022.

Chan revealed that he already talked to some of the barangay captains. He also offered the barangay captains that he will drop the case of grave oral defamation against them if they will also drop the Malversation of Public Funds and graft charges that they filed against the mayor in the Ombudsman.

“Atoa dili man kita’y nanguna ug file og kaso, nagdepensa ra gyud ko sa akong kaugalingon. Igo ra gyud ko mitubag, so seguro sila maoy unang mo-move ana to withdraw the cases,” he added.

Abing of Maribago and Tampus of Canjulao welcomed the offer of the mayor.

“Para nako sir, nindot kaayo na ang gi-offer ni mayor. Pero ang akoa lang, gusto nako nga kaming pito maoy maistorya niya para once and for all duna na’y peace of mind both parties,” Abing said.

Watch his interview here:

He added that he already talked with the mayor and even paid a courtesy call after the election.

Tampus also said that he is willing to support the administration of Chan since the election is already over.

He added that he would also consult the other barangay captains regarding the offer of the mayor.

“Agad ra gyud ko sa akong grupo gyud kay lisod man sad kaayo ug ako ra usa. Kay ang ako importante kay wala rama’y problema kay human man ang eleksyon. Way problema ana, para sa akoa lang kay human ang eleksyon dili nata anang gubot. Back to work nata,” Tampus said.

/bmjo

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TAGS: and Rosalino Abing of Maribago, Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices, Association of Barangay Council (ABC) President and Bankal Barangay Captain Eduardo Cuizon, Eleonor Fontanoza of Gun-ob, Joselito Tibon of Suba-Basbas, Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Junard "Ahong" Chan, Lapu-Lapu news, malversation of public funds, Regina Ybañez ug Looc, Reynaldo Tampus of Canjulao, seven barangay captains, Triponia Abayan of Tungasan

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