CEBU CITY - Mayor Tomas Osmeña on Thursday defended himself after a video of him scolding a court sheriff made the rounds online.
A video by Eric Amaro, who was in the area when it happened, shows Cebu City Regional Trial Court Sheriff El Cid Caballes trying to shake hands with Osmeña, but the latter did not accept the gesture and instead confronted and scolded Caballes.
The sheriff also tried showing court documents to Osmeña, but the mayor pushed these away.
Osmeña got irked by Caballes' attempt to implement a court demolition order even though he could not show proof of the technical description of the portion of the property to be demolished.
Caballes said he was merely implementing a court order.
In an interview, Osmeña said that he was trying to protect the residents who called for help.
"I am defending a government property," Osmeña told ABS-CBN News.
ABS-CBN News tried to get Caballes' reaction but he was not at the office.
The head of the Clerk of Court Atty. Jeoffrey Juaquino said Caballes took a leave of absence.
Juaquino said he is also waiting for Caballes' report on what happened.
He said that opposition to a court order goes with the territory of being a sheriff, and it's up to Caballes to decide whether to file a complaint against Mayor Osmeña.
The conflict stems from a civil case filed by a certain Mauricio Quijada who claimed ownership of the 6085-A-1 lot along Don Gil Garcia Street in this city.
In 2014, Regional Trial Court Judge Wilfredo Navarro issued a demolition order against the owners of the houses located along Don Gil Garcia Street.
Hundreds of houses in the interior portion have already been destroyed.
The chairman of Capitol Site Public Domain Homeowners Association, Matt Ranillo Vergara, said the remaining structures are not originally part of the demolition order since their houses sit on a government-owned lot.
Barangay Captain Manuel Guanzon said he already applied for a patent for the 4,750 square meters which will be used for a public edifice as well as medium-rise residential buildings.
Navarro, however, said that the area was an "abandoned river bed adjacent to 6085-A-1."