50 Mandaue City gov’t employees face complaints at Ombudsman
CEBU CITY — About 50 officials and employees of the Mandaue City government are facing charges for allegedly entering and fencing a private property in Barangay Paknaan on May 3.
Private lot owner Priscilla Melendres requested the Office of the Ombudsman in the Visayas to hold the respondents liable for arbitrary detention, grave misconduct, and violations of the Anti-graft and Corrupt Practices Act and the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards of Public Officials and Employees, among others.
The complaint was filed on July 24, at the anti-graft office based in this city.
Among the respondents were Mandaue City Assistant Assessor Julius Caesar Entice and 49 others from the Housing and Urban Development Office, Janitorial and Security Services Unit of the Mandaue City government.
Entice told reporters that he had not received a copy nor a subpoena in relation to the complaint but described it as a form of harassment, not only to him but to the other respondents who were merely doing their jobs.
He said they entered the site under the orders of the Mandaue government to clear the area, which is part of “timberland,” and therefore owned by the government.
Entice questioned specifically the “arbitrary detention” accusation of Melendres when she was still scot-free until now.
Melendres said their family owns the lot and that they have documents to prove it. Last July 19, Melendres said she even paid taxes for the property.
On May 3, Melendres said she and her companions inside their house were traumatized when the group barged into their property without any proper identification.
“They destroyed my sheds and my comfort room,” she recalled.
According to her, she and her sister were padlocked by the group.
“They locked our gates for several hours,” she added.
Melendres earlier filed a complaint at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources against the Mandaue City government for the destruction of mangrove trees near her property.
“I felt so helpless because there were so many people, more than 50, many cars and trucks and they brought huge equipment,” Melendres added.
“When I said stop it, a lot of them would laugh at me. They just jeered at me.”