July 19, 2024

A punong barangay in the city has filed a complaint against one of the kagawad in their barangay who allegedly misrepresented himself before police authorities in an effort to cause the release of a violator of the enhanced community quarantine from custody.

In a complaint filed on May 28 before the Office of the City Prosecutor and sangguniang panlungsod of Baguio, Fairview Punong Barangay Justina P. Andaya has accused Richard S. Jimenez, who is an appointed barangay kagawad of Fairview, of dishonesty, oppression, misconduct in office, dereliction of duty, and abuse of authority in violation of the Local Government Code.

The  kagawad was also charged for commission of unethical conduct in violation of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees; and gross misconduct, oppression, conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service and discrimination in violation of the Administrative Code of 1987 Book 5.

Andaya claimed Jimenez knowingly pretended to be the the punong barangay to impel the Baguio City Police Office to release from custody an ECQ violator who was detained at the Baguio Athletic Bowl.

Based on the account of Master Sergeant Patrick L. Lamog, Staff Sgt. Dennis G. Geron, and S/Sg. Romana C. Ablao, the BCPO operatives on duty tasked to watch and interview ECQ violators, a man later identified as Jimenez approached them on April 23 and asked to talk with one Rowena Arellano, the ECQ violator and a Fairview resident.

Jimenez asked Lamog if Arellano could be released as she was not feeling well and had to buy medicine.

When asked if he is the Fairview PB, Lamog said Jimenez answered that he is. The latter was told that Arellano cannot be released because of her violations, and for Jimenez to talk with the Station 7 commander because Lamog is not the proper person to decide on the request.

Lamog said Jimenez went to talk with the guard on duty, who informed them that the security manager wanted to talk to Arellano. Geron allowed the guard on duty to escort Arellano to the Athletic Bowl gate, but to bring her back after the conversation.

However, Jimenez and the security manager suddenly let Arellano board a car. Lamog and Geron tried to stop the car but it sped away.

Arellano was later arrested again at her residence. The police officers later called the cell phone number Jimenez provided, and there they learned from Andaya that she is the punong barangay and Jimenez is an appointed kagawad of Sunnyside Fairview.

The Courier tried to reach Jimenez for his comment through his mobile number but he cannot be reached.

In a video interview, Andaya said she will not let the incident pass because the kagawad’s deed sets a bad example for public officials. – Hanna C. Lacsamana