Mayor Ahong orders deeper probe vs village chief’s links with ‘over-charging burial contractors’

Mayor Ahong orders deeper probe vs village chief’s links with ‘over-charging burial contractors’

By Junex Doronio

LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu — Notwithstanding an arrest warrant, Mayor Junard “Ahong” Chan this city still ordered a thorough investigation against Barangay Gun-ob chair Eleanor Fontanoza after the local chief executive received grave complaints that some families have been victimized by “overcharging contractors” inside the city’s public cemetery.

Judge Genevieve Tabada-Lawas of Lapu-Lapu City’s Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) Branch 1 on December 21 issued the arrest warrant of Fontanoza for not heeding the City’s order to no longer allow burials at the municipal cemetery in her barangay.

The Lapu-Lapu city government filed charges against Fontanoza for allowing the burial of both Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 dead at the municipal cemetery in Brgy. Gun-ob.

Accompanied by Lawyer Ervin Estandarte, the barangay chief yielded to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and posted bail of P30,000 on the same day.

She was charged by the Lapu-Lapu city government for usurpation of authority, direct bribery and violation of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.

Estandarte, who represents Fontanoza, expressed surprise that it was the MTCC that issued the warrant against his client.

He argued that Fontanoza’s case should be handled by the Office of the Ombudsman since it concerns her work as barangay captain.

Estandarte said he believed the arrest warrant was meant to discredit Fontanoza, but he is confident the case filed will be dismissed. (AI/MTVN)

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