Niña sues Jun, Ramil for libel
Mary Ruth Malinao (The Freeman) - November 29, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — Cebu City Councilor Prisca Niña Mabatid yesterday filed libel cases against two former allies in the Barug-PDP Laban and a female former City Hall worker who was allegedly a victim of sexual harassment  by a division chief.

Mabatid accused former councilor Pastor "Jun" Alcover, former Apas barangay captain Ramil Ayuman, and the alleged sexual harassment victim of the crime of one count of libel each.

Mabatid said she is also planning to file 10 counts of cyber-libel against Alcover and Ayuman.

"The defamatory statements and malicious imputations made by the respondents caused me to suffer serious anxieties, sleepless night and unbearable worries," read Mabatid's complaint-affidavit.

Mabatid said her filing of case against the three respondents serves as a message that she meant it when she said she did not ask the alleged victim to withdraw her case against Lorenzo Basamot, the resigned chief of a division under Department of General Services implicated in sexual harassment cases.

"Yes, I will always support the women who are victims but I will never tolerate a woman who is a liar," said Mabatid.

To recall, one alleged victim claimed that Mabatid, in a phone call, asked her to withdraw the affidavit she filed against Basamot before the City Legal Office on October 21.

Meanwhile, the alleged victim said she had no idea that Mabatid recorded their phone conversation. Mabatid presented a voice clip of their conversation during her privileged speech in the City Council last Tuesday.

She said Mabatid neither informed her nor asked for her consent that she will be recording their conversation.

She is appealing to Mabatid, as chairman of the Committee on Women, Children, and Family Affairs and as a woman herself, to help her in fighting for her right. She said she will continue her fight.

Mabatid, in a statement, said the alleged victim was informed of her act to record their conversation.

"I have strong evidences including our recorded conversation and take note it was with her consent and approval," said Mabatid.

Ayuman, for his part, said he and Alcover will send a letter to the City Council requesting for the audio and video recording of Mabatid's whole speech and its transcript.

He said this will serve as a basis if they could file a complaint in relation to the Anti-Wiretapping Law.

The Anti-Wiretapping Act of 1965, or RA 4200, entitled “An Act to Prohibit and Penalize Wire Tapping and other Related Violations of the Privacy of Communication, and for other Purposes,” prohibits and penalises wiretapping done by any person to secretly overhear, intercept, or record any private communication or spoken word of another person or persons without the authorisation of all the parties to the communication.

Alcover said they are ready to face the case filed by Mabatid.

He added such is a diversion on the "real issue" which is the sexual harassment allegedly commited by Basamot.

"Unsa may sala namo kung molaban mi aning mga biktima? Sala diay na?" said Alcover.

Meanwhile, City Legal Officer Rey Gealon said the CLO investigating team has referred the sexual harassment complaint to Human Resource and Development Office pursuant to Section 4 of RA 7877 otherwise known as "The Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995".

"The HR would then recommend to the Honorable Mayor the creation of a Committee on Decorum and Investigation of Cases on Sexual Harassment," said Gealon.

"It is now the mayor's discretion whom to appoint as members of this committee, which may include the lawyers of the CLO who were initially handling the case for purposes of reception of evidence, including complaint-affidavits," he added.

Basamot said earlier the allegations against him are politically motivated because he will run as barangay captain in the next elections.

He said he has a recording of one of the complainants admitting that someone ordered her to make the accusation. /JMD (FREEMAN)

RAMIL
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