By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Office of the Ombudsman recently reprimanded Bacolod City Association of Barangay Captains (ABC) president, Barangay Tangub Captain Noli Villarosa, after finding him guilty of simple misconduct in response to a 2016 resolution filed by former Bacolod City Councilor and 2016 Liberal Party candidate for Bacolod lone district congressman Carl Lopez.
According to the ruling, signed by Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas Paul Elmer Clemente and Graft-Investigation and Prosecution Officer Terrence Anton Callao, Villarosa was found to have acted improperly due to an “arrogant gesture” and “discourteous utterances.”
The Ombudsman warned, repeat offenses “will be dealt with more severely.”
The case stemmed from a March 2016 incident, where Lopez, who was still serving as city councilor, conducted a check of the Barangay Tangub Public Market. Afterwards, he entered the local gymnasium, where local residents were gathered. Once inside, Villarosa reportedly took to the stage and announced photography was not allowed.
Based on an account by Lopez, as he was exiting, the ABC president reportedly ordered the then-city councilor to leave, saying, “I am a public official and this is public property!” He also claimed to have been escorted out by barangay tanods.
Three other individuals, Rodolfo Nino Barrientos, Jose Juguan, Jr., and Patrocenio Batiller, corroborated Lopez’ account and also pointed to earlier events where the barangay captain reportedly expressed “arrogant” behavior.
Villarosa responded with a counter-affidavit, contradicting Lopez’ claims of visiting the Barangay Tangub Public Market, claiming there is no such market and the neighborhood is equipped with “only sari-sari stores and a few tables where fresh fish and meat are being sold.”
He also provided affidavits by barangay tanods and local workers to back up his claims.
Villarosa is currently in a four-way race in his bid for re-election as ABC president. Also throwing their hats in the ring are Barangay Vista Alegre Captain Jose Maria Leandro Norberto de Leon, Barangay 15 Captain Anjo Ayco. and Barangay Singcang-Airport Captain Rosinie Distrito./DGB, WDJ