Joavan Fernandez is back in the limelight after a businessman complained that the adopted son of Talisay City Mayor Socrates Fernandez, illegally confiscated his truck loaded with sand for the second time.
The apprehension was made Friday evening in barangay Lagtang where the truck was stopped on the road about 6:30 p.m.
The driver, Leandro Jaberina, said Joavan asked him to present documents for the delivery. Not satisfied with the papers shown to him, Joavan sent the truck to the Talisay City Hall compound where the police and Mayor Fernandez found the papers in order and ordered the truck released.
Angry over the impounding, truck owner Julius Abad, 45, said he would file criminal charges tomorrow. He had the incident recorded in the Talisay city police blotter and left the truck in the Talisay City Hall.
By what authority did the mayor’s son seize a private truck?
Talisay City Mayor Fernandez defended his son, saying Joavan and his companion, were Vanguard members or local environment officers in Talisay City whose job includes checking on the illegal transport of sand and gravel, and forest products.
“The Vanguard has long been deputized by the DENR. I deputized Joavan based on the authority of my office as city mayor,” Mayor Fernandez said in a phone interview.
Abad said he would file charges of carnapping and usurpation of authority. He urged other sand and gravel haulers who may have been victims of extortion to reinforce his case.
Abad, a resident of Duljo Fatima, Cebu City, said he would press charges because this was the second time that Joavan stopped one of his trucks, delaying delivery of sand to a client. The first incident happened three weeks ago. At that time, Abad said, the mayor called him for a dialog on December 19 to settle the case amicably. Not anymore, said Abad.
Joavan has been in and out of trouble with the law since 2006 when he was charged for a drive-by shooting that killed a jeepney driver and later, the mauling of two vulcanizing shop workers in Talisay City. The witnesses later recanted or withdrew their complaints. (See table of Joavan’s troubles on page 1)
Repeated episodes of road rage, random gun firing, and charges of drug use have earned him a reputation as Talisay’s no. 1 “bad boy”, with his father, a respected preacher-like figure paying for his bail and insisting that his adult son was just misunderstood and trying to reform his life.
Yesterday, the mayor said Joavan joined the Vanguard in 2011 after he decided to turn a new leaf.
PO2 Roy Lofranco of the Talisay City Police said they could not hold the truck since the owner presented proper documents.
He said Mayor Fernandez also called and ordered him to release the truck. When he told Abad, the businessman refused to claim the truck , saying he would file charges first against Joavan.
Leandro Jaberina, driver of the dumptruck with plate number MDH-505, said he came from Toledo City where the sand was loaded. While passing the Lagtang road, Joavan’s companion flagged down the truck and called Joavan.
Joavan was the one who asked for documents then instructed his companion to bring the truck to Talisay City Hall. The companion rode with the truck driven by Jaberina.
The owner presented a delivery receipt for the sand issued by the Department of Environmen and Natural Resources (DENR). Abad said he is seeking assistance from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) to finalize his complaint with his lawyer Dax Quijano.
Mayor Fernandez explained that on that day, Joavan and his companion flagged down three trucks with different owners.
One truck was released after Vice Mayor Alan Bucao verified the documents and another one had its papers in order.
However, Abad’s truck was held because of some doubts since the delivery receipt lacked the official seal of the Provincial Government and no DENR certification was immediately shown. The mayor said that if Abad still failed to present complete documents tomorrow, it’s up to the DENR to file charges against him.
The mayor said it was Abad’s right as well to file a case against Joavan if he believes his right was violated and that they would face the charges.
This time, Abad said he would pursue a criminal case against Joavan and set aside any attempt by Mayor Fernandez to settle out of court.