Lapu-Lapu officials open to resolve conflict, withdraw cases

·2 min read

LAPU-LAPU City Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan is willing to withdraw the criminal case he filed against seven barangay captains if they withdraw first the cases they filed against him and other city officials and private individuals.

Related story: Lapu-Lapu mayor files second case vs 7 barangay captains

In an interview on Wednesday, June 15, 2022, Chan said he is willing to withdraw the grave oral defamation case before the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas once the seven barangay captains withdraw the cases concerning the alleged malversation of public funds and violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

The barangay captains who filed the case on February 9, three months prior to the 2022 national and local elections, were Association Barangay Council (ABC) President and Bankal Barangay Captain Eduardo Cuizon, Eleonor Fontanoza (Gun-ob), Regina Ybañez (Looc), Triponia Abayan (Tungasan), Joselito Tibon (Subabasbas), Reynaldo Tampus (Canjulao) and Rosalino Abing (Maribago).

The complaint filed against Chan and nine others, including some department heads and a City Hall supplier, stemmed from the alleged purchase of more than P47 million worth of food items and non-food items from a supplier identified as a furniture exporter amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic in 2020 and 2021.

In response, Chan sued on March 15 the barangay captains for allegedly committing grave oral defamation under Article 358 of the Revised Penal Code and violating Section 6 of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, and said the respondents “willfully and deliberately attacked complainant’s reputation by making defamatory utterances, maliciously and with evident ill-will.”

“Igo ra gyud ko nitubag. So siguro, sila maoy first mo-move niana to withdraw the cases (I merely responded. So maybe they should be the first to withdraw the cases they filed),” the mayor said.

Chan said at least two of the barangay captains have reached out to him, one of whom already expressed willingness to withdraw the cases.

For his part, Abing admitted on Friday, June 18, that he already talked to Chan as he brought with him the barangay councilors when they paid a courtesy call to the mayors office on June 1.

“Para nako nindot kaayo ng gi-offer ni mayor. Ang ako lang og mahimo kaming pito ma-istorya niya para once and for all, dunay peace of mind unya para magkahiusa tanan sa tumong sa pagpalambo sa atong siyudad ug sa among matag barangay (I think what the mayor is offering sounds good, though I prefer that he would talk to all seven of us so that once and for all, everyone will have peace of mind and we can all focus on working together for the progress of our city and our respective barangays),” he said.

For his part, Tampus said he will just wait for the decision of the other barangay captains on the matter.

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