On separate occasions: CH exec accused of sexual abuse

On separate occasions: CH exec accused of sexual abuse

CEBU, Philippines — Three female employees of the Cebu City Hall have claimed they were sexually harassed by a division head under the Department of General Services.

The employees have executed affidavits saying that Lorenzo Basamot, head of the Records and Archives Management Division (RAMD), allegedly sexually harassed them in three different incidents.

The first complainant, assigned at RAMD on September, claimed that fellow employees in the department told her that Basamot had a crush on her.

There came a time, she said, when Basamot expressed his intention to court her through a note.

Because of that, she said, she avoided Basamot to discourage him.

On October 6, after a tree planting in Barangay Taptap which also happened to be her birthday, she ended up celebrating with her workmates, including Basamot, and had a drinking session.

She claimed she was sexually harassed by Basamot by attempting to kiss her after the drinking session.

Basamot, however, denied the allegation and said the female employee who was drunk that time even asked him for a cake since it was her birthday.

“Giingnan nakog ‘okay, sige mopalit ko pero pwede ko magbeso-beso?’ (I told her I was willing to buy her cake in exchange for a cheek-to-cheek greeting),” said Basamot.

According to Basamot, no “beso” nor touching happened.

“If I harassed her at 2 p.m. why is it that she still chose to stay in my company until 9 p.m.?” he said in Cebuano.

“Beso is a sort of greeting. Beso is not a crime, it’s only a greeting,” he added.

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

He said he confronted the first complainant, asked her why she executed the affidavit, and discovered she was only instructed to do such because she was threatened that her appointment will not be renewed.

He also said he has a recording of her admitting she was ordered by someone.

Basamot claimed he spoke twice to Mayor Edgardo Labella about the issue. He said he clarified his name and the mayor believed him.

“Kung nakasala gyud ko mayor, swear to God. Monaog gyud ko. Di tika pakauwawan (If I committed anything wrong, I will step down. I won’t embarrass you, Mayor),” Basamot said in a message to Labella.

However, Labella, in a separate interview, said he has not talked to Basamot about the alleged sexual harassment. He said it has to be investigated because it is a serious offense.

“That is something that we should be concerned. In fairness to both parties, it should be properly investigated. I have yet to see the complaint and the details of the alleged sexual harassment,” said Labella.

Meanwhile, the second complainant, who applied for a job in the city government last September, said she went to Basamot’s office to ask for an update regarding her application.

This time, Basamot allegedly then offered her a ride in his car.  But while she was seated in the passenger seat, Basamot allegedly kissed her and touched her private parts.

The third affiant, who also applied for a job in the city government last September, said Basamot was supposed to give her a copy of a blank personnel data sheet but instead invited her to a drinking session.

She said Basamot offered her a car ride after their drinking session. While she was seated at the passenger seat, he allegedly kissed her and touched her private parts also.

Basamot said he is ready to face the allegations because he is innocent.

He added he has been planning to file a case against them, specifically libel and intriguing against honor, and is only waiting for the copies of the affidavit filed by the three female employees.

The FREEMAN tried to ask for the comment of lawyer June Maratas, head of DGS, but had not received any response as of this writing.  JMD (FREEMAN)



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