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OFW cries harassment; village councilor fumes at allegations

A resident from Barangay Mandug asked the City Council for help on the alleged harassment committed by the village councilor of the area.
The letter of complaint by alias Jenny (name withheld) has been forwarded to the City Council for further deliberation.

It was passed by Councilor Antoinette Principe-Castrodes, who chairs the committee on ethics and good government, on Tuesday, Feb. 11.

Meanwhile, barangay kagawad Elmer Ototan told TIMES yesterday that there is no truth behind the allegations against him.

“I have been in service for 22 years now, and this has been the first time that an incident like this happened in my whole life of service. I can never do such thing, and anyone in this barangay can attest to that,” he said.

The victim wanted to report the incident to their barangay hall, but was uncertain since suspect Elmer Ototan was reportedly the brother of the village chairman.

“I wanted to file a blotter against him in the police station, but I can’t do it since I have my flight in the morning. I asked for my family to do the filing, but the police-in-charge said I should be the one filing, not anyone on my behalf,” she said.

Jenny, an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) in London, was currently on a break from her work when the alleged harassment happened.

“The day when I got home concurred with the day of our fiesta celebration in Mandug,” she said in her letter, adding that the incident occurred on the eve of the celebration, on Dec. 8, 2019.

Jenny is a resident of DDF Village in Barangay Mandug, Buhangin District.

“We visited the barangay gym at 9 p.m. We were then seen by barangay kagawad Ototan at the gate where we stood. I was then introduced to him by my stepsister since I really don’t know him even if we were neighbors before. He then put his arms around me, but I took it back so I can shake hands with him. He told to come back so we can have a drink with them, but we really don’t intend to come back,” she said.

However, she said that at 10 p.m. on the same day, she went with her stepsister to the gym. They were then offered a drink, which at first they declined, but were convinced to do so out of respect.

After some time, Jenny asked where the bathroom was. Ototan accompanied her since she was not familiar with the place.

“He told me, while waiting outside, that he wanted to enter the bathroom, but I said ‘pag sure uy!’ He just laughed,” she said.

After going to the bathroom, Jenny joined the others on the dance floor. It was at that point that Ototan allegedly asked her to have sex with him.
“Let’s sleep in the downtown area. Let’s sleep together. My wife will not know, just don’t tell anyone,” Ototan said.

In that instance, the allegedly drunk Ototan kissed and touched Jenny, which made her “freak out.”

“After that, I stayed away from him and moved closer to my sister. I told her what happened and suggested that we go home,” she said.

A hearing was conducted on Jan. 28, 2020 to discuss her complaint.

On Jan. 2020, Martin Dino, Department of Interior and Local Government undersecretary for barangay affairs, sent a letter to the National Bureau of Investigation to investigate the complaint. The resolution will be further discussed on second reading in the next regular session.

Political

Ototan said that the deed is to discredit him as he will be running as the barangay captain for the next elections.

“I guess this is purely political because there were issues that came before. She wanted to take me down, this is in line with my work” he said.

He also bared the truth regarding the bathroom incident. He said that the bathroom inside the barangay hall is manned every now and then with policemen, barangay tanods, and some men-in-uniform.

“You cannot easily harass a person because our place has many men-in-uniform guarding our barangay, even during the fiesta,” he said.

He also said that some of her statements regarding the alleged harassment are twisted. He said that Sacristana’s previous statements did not match her current statements on the complaint.

“She’s always changing her statements. She had approached media stations to air her complaint, but I was asked by my lawyer to just be quiet,” he said.

Ototan said he is willing to face these allegations when he is confronted because he is not “guilty” of all Sacristana’s hearsay about him.

“I am willing to face any allegations to me. I was raised well and my family never engaged in bad doings. I am appealing to everyone to not believe Sacristana. The damage done has affected my family. My kid always gets bullied at school saying his dad is a guy who harassed women, but I will really say there is no truth to these allegations,” he said.

He also said that some actions were also made to further humiliate him to the public. “Her sister also posted on social media to expose me. And I am going to sue her for Cyber Crime Law. As for Sacristana, we are still waiting for a legal document and then we will continue the process,” he said.

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