CH official accused of ‘impropriety’

THREE Cebu City Hall employees claimed they were sexually harassed by one of the division heads in the Department of General Services (DGS).

In the notarized affidavit made by the complainants, which was sent anonymously to SunStar Cebu, the respondent was identified as Lorenzo Basamot, former Kamputhaw barangay captain and now head of the Records and Archives Management Division.

The three complainants said Basamot forced himself on them on separate occasions.

Basamot denied the allegation. He said he only had an encounter with one of the complainants.

Oct. 5 incident

He said that after the tree-planting activity of the Cebu City Government in Barangay Taptap on Oct. 5, 2019, he went to the house of one his staff for a drinking spree around 2 p.m. When he got there, the complainant, who he said was already drunk, approached him and asked him if he would buy her a cake since it was her birthday.

He said he would on one condition: she would allow him to kiss her on both cheeks. She said no.

“I asked her, ‘Pwede mu-beso (can I kiss you on the cheeks)?’ But she did not allow me so I did nothing. Wa ko kagunit niya (I wasn’t able to touch her). Wa ko kabeso niya (I wasn’t able to kiss her),” Basamot said.

He said he was with the complainant and his other staff until 9 p.m. before they moved to a karaoke joint in Barangay Guadalupe. He said they even dropped her off at her house.

Ready to step down

“If I did harass her, why did she stay and then accompanied us to the karaoke joint?” said Basamot.

He said he already talked with Mayor Edgardo Labella about the allegation. He said he was willing to step down if asked to.

Basamot also denied the allegations of the two other complainants. He said he knows them but he has not dealt with them personally.

Mayor Labella, for his part, said he has yet to talk to Basamot about the complaints. He also has not seen a copy the three women’s affidavit or know about the details of the alleged harassment.

He said he wants the matter to be properly investigated since sexual harassment “is something we should be concerned of.”

The Cebu City Legal Office has yet to confirm if it has received the women’s affidavit. JJL