Mayor Duterte charged with grave abuse of authority

Published July 22, 2021, 3:38 PM

by Calvin Cordova 

CEBU CITY – A complaint for grave abuse of authority was filed before the Office of the Ombudsman for the Visayas against the mayor of Tabogon, Cebu, a third-degree nephew of President Duterte.

The complaint against Mayor Zigfred Duterte was filed last July 14 by Regie Ornopia, who was hired as a driver by the municipality.

In his nine-page complaint, Ornopia alleged that while he was receiving his salary from the municipal government, he was asked by Duterte to work for the mayor’s family in “private and personal capacity.” When sought for comment, the mayor said he would answer the allegations once he receives a copy of the complaint.

Duterte confirmed that the municipality hired Ornopia as one of his drivers four or five years ago.

“I suspect and believe that this is politically motivated, considering the timing of the filing of the case. He (Ornopia) has resigned long ago. Why only bring it up now?” Duterte said.

Based on his affidavit, Ornopia was hired by the municipal government as Duterte’s personal driver in 2013. But in 2014, Ornopia alleged that Duterte assigned him to drive a dump truck to haul limestones being quarried from one of the sites owned by the mayor.

Ornopia further alleged that the fuel expenses for the hauling of limestone were sourced from funds of the municipal government. He added that he was also directed to transport several members of Duterte’s immediate family members for their respective personal transactions.

Ornopia said Duterte accused him of selling the quarried limestones to customers that prompted him to resign.

The date of Ornopia’s resignation was not stated in his affidavit.