Patrolman Romil Gelogo yesterday filed a string of cases against Osmeña before the Office of the Ombudsman, including usurpation of official function, violation of Anti-graft and Corrupt Practices Act, slander, grave coercion, direct assault, grave misconduct, violation of Anti-Carnapping Act, robbery, serious dishonesty, oppression, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.
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Cop, Osmeña trade charges
Jean Marvette A. Demecillo, Mylen P. Manto (The Freeman) - May 24, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The altercation between Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña and a policeman caught violating traffic rules on the eve of the May 13 elections has reached another level, with both camps trading charges against each other.

Patrolman Romil Gelogo yesterday filed a string of cases against Osmeña before the Office of the Ombudsman, including usurpation of official function, violation of Anti-graft and Corrupt Practices Act, slander, grave coercion, direct assault, grave misconduct, violation  of Anti-Carnapping Act, robbery, serious dishonesty, oppression, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.

He has also asked the Ombuds-man to preventively suspend the mayor and others pending investigation.

Gelogo, a policeman assigned at the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group-7 Mandaue Field Unit stationed at Camp Sotero Cabahug on Gorordo Avenue, Cebu City, alleged that it was illegal for Osmeña and traffic personnel to impound his Honda TMX 155 (8085 SX) on May 12.

“Mayor Osmeña and the Cebu City Traffic Management Coordination Committee personnel are…not deputized agents of LTO (Land Transportation Office). Thus, neither the latter nor the former has authority in implementing Republic Act 4136 or Land Transportation and Traffic Code,” Gelogo’s complaint read.

Gelogo, a member of the alert team, said he went out of the camp to buy food supplies on board his motorcycle when at least 10 persons suddenly blocked his way. Four of them held his motorcycle’s handlebar, one of whom later identified as Osmeña.

Gelogo further alleged that one of the men demanded him to present his driver’s license and other pertinent documents in an “intimidating and arrogant manner” without informing him of his violations.

He identified himself as a police officer but Osmeña allegedly told him he was “the mayor” and that he had authority and control over the police and arrest anybody, anytime for violating the law.

According to Gelogo, Osmeña defamed and humiliated him and all the city’s police officers by loudly and publicly saying they were all abusive.

Later, Gelogo’s motorcycle was impounded after it was discovered that its registration sticker was not attached to the plate and that he was driving wearing short pants in violation to Philippine National Police camp rules.

When Osmeña allegedly got hold of the motorcycle, Gelogo asked the former to at least issue him a receipt for the seizure, as well as return his wrist watch worth P150,000 and other personal properties kept inside the motorcycle’s tool box.

When his pleadings turned futile, he reported the incident to Abellana police.

Osmeña’s version

Last May 17, Osmeña sued Gelogo before the Ombudsman over the same incident for alleged resistance and disobedience to a person in authority.

Osmeña, in his two-page complaint, said Gelogo violated several laws such as the National Police Commission Memorandum circular No. 2016-002, Rule 21, Sec 2 (A) (1) (g); Land Transportation Office Administrative Order AHS 2008-015, Sec. X; and the Department of Transportation and Communications Joint Administrative Order No. 2014-01.

Osmeña’s judicial affidavit read that he met Gelogo past 12 midnight of May 12 at Camp Sotero Cabahug. That time, he had just received information that two Sangguniang Kabataan officials and two other residents of Barangay Cogon Ramos had been arrested over allegations of buying votes, so he went to the camp with two lawyers to verify the incident.

Upon arrival, Osmeña’s camp was denied entry, but the lawyers were allowed in when they presented their identification cards.

At this point, Osmeña saw Gelogo on board his motorcycle wearing shorts and slippers going out of the camp.

“As the city mayor and knowing that wearing slippers is not the prescribed wear for motorcycle drivers and is a violation of traffic laws and a city ordinance, I asked for his name and his driver’s license. But he was not able to present it because he said it was in his boarding house. So I asked him for other identification cards he might have, but he was unable to present any, and he said they were also in his boarding house,” the mayor said in his affidavit.

Osmeña added that he asked for the police badge of Gelogo, which the latter reportedly refused to present.

Observing that his motorcycle had no mirrors, the mayor also asked for the registration document of his motorcycle, but Gelogo also reportedly failed to present any.

Osmeña said he called the Cebu Traffic Operations Management to assist him but Gelogo reportedly tried to go back inside the camp trying to take the motorcycle with him.

Osmeña said when a patrol car went out of the camp, Gelogo took the chance to go back inside, leaving his motorcycle at the gate.

Few minutes after, Cebu City Traffic Office personnel arrived and looked for the motorcyle’s owner to issue the citations for having no license, no registration, no side mirror, and for wearing slippers while driving.

The mayor said he went home while the motorcycle was subject for safekeeping as the driver-owner had abandoned the motor vehicle.

“As a police officer, patrolman Gelogo is a public officer. The behavior he displayed when confronted with his violations of the law and his acts constituting the violations is clearly sufficient to warrant him the charge herein referred to,” Osmeña’s complaint read. — JMD (FREEMAN)

TOMAS OSMEñA
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