Councilor allegedly wants raps withdrawn: Mabatid fixing sex abuse case?
CEBU, Philippines — One of the three female employees of the Cebu City government who claimed being harassed sexually by a division head has accused Councilor Prisca Niña Mabatid of asking her to withdraw the affidavit she filed before the City Legal Office on October 21, 2019.
She said Mabatid called her on her mobile phone, inquired about her work, and asked her to meet with Lorenzo Basamot, the head of the city’s Department of General Services, whom she and her co-workers have accused of harassment.
The complainant said she told Mabatid she will not withdraw the affidavit she filed because doing so would make her look like a liar.
“Ako gyud siya giingnan kung giunsa gyud ko ni Kap Basamot ato nga time. Walay bakak, walay dugang nga storya. Gi-harass jud ko niya (I told her what Basamot did to me at that time. No lies, no extra details. He harassed me),” she said.
She said she and the two other women are no longer willing to talk to Basamot because they are afraid of him.
She said Mabatid told her that she wanted the issue settled because Basamot’s family is getting affected.
“Basin ma-settle pa daw kay si Kap nagniwang na daw, depressed unya apil daw iyang wife (Maybe we can settle this because Kap is getting depressed and is losing weight, and his wife is getting affected),” the complainant said.
But she said she and her fellow complainants will continue to fight.
“Kami mas depressed sa panghitabo (We are the ones that got more depressed because of what happened),” she said.
She said she does not know where Mabatid got her number.
Mabatid denied the allegations and called on her enemies to stop destroying her name. She said she even encouraged the complainants to file a case against Basamot.
“To all my detractors, stop dragging me on issues just to destroy my name. I am the chairman of Women, Children, and Family Affairs so it’s my job to protect not only the women but men and children as well. I encourage the alleged victims to file a case against Basamot,” she told The Freeman.
She said, though, that she will not judge Basamot.
“I will not judge Basamot until proven guilty by law. I think that is fair enough,” Mabatid said.
Meanwhile, former councilor Pastor Alcover said he is supporting the three complainants through social media and on his radio program but he did not have a hand in the execution and filing of the affidavits.
“Wa gyud koy labot. Ang biktima ana mao gyuy nangitag pamaagi nga ma-push gyud nang kasoha kay sila man gyuy nabiktima. They are just looking for justice (I had nothing to do with it. It was the victims who looked for ways to push through with the case because they are seeking justice),” Alcover said.
Former Barangay Apas Captain Ramil Ayuman who was also tagged as pushing the women to file the affidavits, called on Mabatid to step down as head of the council committee. He said staying in the committee, considering the allegation of the complainant, will taint the reputation of the Council and Mayor Edgardo Labella.
“Para nako, nagpakauwaw ka sa City Council nga diin ka nag-represent sa kababayen-an… as chairman sa family affairs, adto nuon ka laban anang Basamot (For me, as chairman of family affairs, you are putting the City Council in an embarrassing situation by taking Basamot’s side),” Ayuman said.
He said there were actually five alleged victims but only three chose to speak up.
Alcover also said that Basamot was Mabatid’s right hand during the 2019 midterm elections.
“Sa iyang gihimong pagdupa dupa karon, kadudahan na hinoon siya sa katawhan og unsay ilahang relasyon. Para nako, dili strong reason nga imong duphan ang usa ka tawo nga wa ka kahibalo kung tinud-anay ba ang kaso nga gi-file sa iyaha or dili ba (Taking his side would put their relationship into question. For me, if you don’t know the veracity of the allegations, you shouldn’t take the side of the accused),” Alcover said.
Basamot said earlier the allegations against him are politically motivated because he will run as barangay captain in the next elections.
He said he has a recording of one of the complainants admitting that someone ordered her to make the accusation.
In a previous interview, Labella said the matter should be investigated properly since sexual harassment is a serious offense.
The three employees said in their affidavit that the harassment happened in three separate incidents. (FREEMAN)