Suspended Batangas councilor denies allegations: 'Ako ang naabala sa pagkakamali ng DFA'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 11 2017 04:28 PM

MANILA - Suspended Talisay town Councilor Florencio Pesigan denied allegations that he demanded special treatment and displayed arrogance while claiming his passport at a Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) consular office in Batangas last year. 

In a statement Wednesday, Pesigan aired his side on the issue after the Office of the Ombudsman suspended him for one year as he was found guilty of Oppression and Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service. 

Pesigan said the DFA issued him a passport valid only for a year, which prompted him to have it replaced.

"Nagsimula ang isyung ito dahil sa isang pagkakamali ng Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) sa pag-iisyu ng aking pasaporte na may isang taong validity lamang," he said, recounting his version of the July 19, 2016 incident. 

"Sa pag-amin ng kanilang pagkakamali, pinapuntahan ako sa Talisay, Batangas ng noon ay Kalihim ng Tanggapan na si Sec. Yasay (Perfecto Yasay Jr.) ng kaniyang mga tauhan upang maiproseso ang kapalit na pasaporte. At upang hindi na ako maabala ay sa DFA-Lipa na lamang ipinakukuha sa akin," he said.

Pesigan added that he would not have gone to the DFA office in Lipa City had he not been told that his passport was ready for pick-up.

He also denied asking for special treatment, saying he only introduced himself and explained that he was only there to claim his passport.

"Hindi ako humuhingi ng espesyal na trato gaya ng ipinalalabas nila, nagpakilala lamang ako na konsehal ng bayan at nagpunta ako hindi upang magproseso ng aking pasaporte kung hindi para kuhanin na ito. Siguro ay hindi aabot sa puntong ito kung may magagandang asal ang mga security guards na itinatalaga sa mga ahensya ng gobyerno," Pesigan said. 

The official said he would file charges against security guard Edgar Auman, complainant in the Ombudsman case that led to his suspension. 

Pesigan, likewise, said he did not have any chance to personally interact with DFA Lipa Director Jesusa Garcia, and only heard her voice through the security guard's radio.

"Pangalawang punto, si Gng. Jesusa Garcia ay hindi ko personal na nakaharap kung kaya't ang inaakusa niya sa akin na pambabastos sa kaniya ay walang katotohanan. Napag-alaman ko lamang na siya ang boses na aking narinig sa radyo ng security guard na nag-uutos na ako ay ipadampot sa pulis," Pesigan said.

"Hindi rin ako nagwala o gumawa ng anumang eksena sa kaniyang tanggapan upang maging dahilan ng kaniyang pagpapa-blotter sa akin sa lahat ng istasyon ng pulis sa lalawigan ng Batangas," he said.

For Pesigan, there would have been no problem had he been treated properly.

"Ako ang naabala sa pagkakamali ng DFA, inamin naman nila at itinama nila ito. Kung sana ay natrato ako ng tama sa DFA-Lipa, wala sanang usapin na ganito na umabot na ng mahigit isang taon. Hindi ko ipinagmamalaki ang aking posisyon, ang akin lamang ay tamang pagtrato sa bawat kliyente ang dapat ibigay," he said.

Setting aside Pesigan's counter-affidavit, the Ombudsman had found him administratively liable for Oppression and Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service because of the incident. 

“Considering that respondent is guilty of two (2) grave offenses, the appropriate penalty to be imposed is the maximum penalty of one year suspension from office without pay,” the decision read. 

Apart from the Ombudsman, the Batangas Provincial Board last month suspended Pesigan for 90 days after he was found guilty of conduct unbecoming a public officer. 

The ruling was based on a complaint that Garcia filed, stemming from the same incident.