The Office of the Ombudsman in the Visayas found a village chief liable for punching a man several times in Medellin town, northern Cebu.
Luy-a barangay captain Juan Rosal was ordered to pay a fine equivalent to three-months salary.
The anti-graft office a warned Rosal that a repetition of a similar offense will be dealt with more severe penalty.
Graft investigation and prosecution officer Sarah Vergara, in her decision, said Rosal failed to exercise self-control in being a local government officer.
“The punong barangay is supposed to oversee the maintenance of peace and order. To carry this out effectively, the barangay chief must be an advocate of freedom from discord and harmonious relationship among neighbors,” she said.
The case stemmed from the complaint of Ricardo Tapayan who alleged that Rosal punched him following a heated argument on July 26, 2011.
The complainant said he, at one time, shooed the birds away after they ate the food of the fighting cocks he was tending.
When Rosal knew about it, Tapayan said the village chief hit him with a wooden table and repeatedly punched him.
In his answer to the complaint, Rosal admitted he and Tapayan argued after his neighbor threw stones at his wife.
Rosal said it was Tapayan who punched him first.
The Ombudsman Visayas, however, did not give weight to Rosal’s defense.
“This office does not see much significance in respondent’s claim that it was complainant who threw the first punch. What is more relevant is the fact that respondents himself punched complainant thereby inflicting upon him injuries,” Vergara said./ADOR S. MAYOL