Fiscal junks perjury charge vs. Ahong, city execs

·2 min read

THE Lapu-Lapu City Prosecutor’s Office has dismissed the perjury case filed by seven village chiefs against Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan and five city officials.

The seven barangay chiefs led by Association of Barangay Councils president and Bankal village chief Eduardo Cuizon sued Chan for perjury in retaliation against the mayor, who had also sued them for perjury earlier.

On March of this year, Chan along with Bids and Awards Committee chairman James Sayson and members Ronald Malacora, Claire Cabalda, Romeo Berame; former City Social Welfare and Development Office head Annabeth Cuizon; and City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office head Nagiel Bañacia sued Cuizon and the six other village chiefs before the local prosecutor’s office.

Chan was responding to the move of Cuizon and the six village chiefs of filing administrative and criminal cases against him and the five city officials before the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas for allegedly spending more than P47 million to buy food items from a supplier that was identified as a furniture exporter.

Aside from Cuizon, also serving as complainants on the case are Eleonor Fontanoza of Barangay Gun-ob, Regina Ybañez of Looc, Triponia Abayan of Tungasan, Joselito Tibon of Subabasbas, Reynaldo Tampus of Canjulao and Rosalino Abing of Maribago.

In his eight-page decision issued on May 2, 2022, Acting Lapu-Lapu City Prosecutor Allan Talisaysay dismissed the case for lack of probable cause.

Based on Article 183 of the Revised Penal Code, the elements of perjury include that the accused made a statement under oath or executed an affidavit upon a material matter; that the statement or affidavit was made before a competent officer, authorized to receive and administer oath; that in the statement or affidavit, the accused made a willful and deliberate assertion of a falsehood; and that the sworn statement or affidavit containing the falsity is required by law or made for a legal purpose.

Talisaysay said the complainants failed to establish that Chan and his co-accused in the case made a statement under oath or executed an affidavit upon a material matter and that they made a willful and deliberate assertion of a falsehood in a sworn statement or affidavit.

‘Baseless allegations’

In an interview on Thursday, May 19, Chan told SunStar Cebu that the local prosecutor’s decision to dismiss the case only proves that the seven village chiefs’ accusations were baseless.

“At least the truth has finally come out and that even our local prosecutors resolved that their accusations have no basis,” Chan said in Cebuano.

The mayor stressed that the move by the seven barangay captains was only to taint him with baseless allegations amid the 2022 election period.

The dismissed perjury case filed by Cuizon and his fellow village chiefs was based on their initial complaint they filed against Chan and five other city officials before the anti-graft office on February this year.

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