Cebu News

Court asked to put councilman back in jail

Odessa O. Leyson - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The Cebu City government employees who, together with cops, arrested Labangon Councilman Rodolfo Tabasa last June 10 want the latter back in jail.

Kenneth Amar and Rafael Cabonillas of the General Services Office filed a formal pleading in court to this effect.

“I can’t make further comments pursuant to sub judice rule. It’s an omnibus motion. First, reconsideration on the release; second, cancellation of the recognizance; and third, the motion directing the petitioners why they should not be cited for indirect contempt by their failure to bring Tabasa during the inquest proceedings at the city prosecutor’s office,” said Cebu City lawyer Eleodoro Diaz IV.

Tabasa was arrested for failing to turn over his city-issued Toyota Hilux despite the recall order issued by acting mayor Margot Osmeña. Diaz said Tabasa was arrested by virtue of a warrantless arrest, having committed a continuing crime for refusing to deliver a government property under his custody even after being ordered by a competent authority.

Tabasa is one of 47 barangay officials Osmeña sued for failing to return city-issued vehicles in line with her order last month.

But a day after his arrest, acting Vice Executive Judge Pamela Baring-Uy of the Municipal Trial Court in Cities ordered Tabasa’s release under recognizance upon request of his lawyers.

Tabasa said earlier he did not receive Osmeña’s memo to return the vehicle. He said the Hilux issued to him in 2013 by suspended Mayor Michael Rama is being used for emergency purposes.

He eventually returned the vehicle to City Hall.

Last Wednesday, Sambag 1 Barangay Captain Lemar Alcover also returned his city-issued vehicle.

In a separate development, the Cebu City Transportation Office has requested for seven vehicles from the city government for operation purposes.

CCTO head Rafael Yap said they will accept whatever vehicle the city will provide them.

Osmeña has said the city would assess if a particular office or department really needs a vehicle before issuing them.

“Depende nga… it depends on who requested kasi every reissuance is based on the request… we don’t just, okay, you get this… we will try to see where and what fits,” Osmeña said.  (FREEMAN)


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