From giving sandwiches that led to the cops that accepted it to be taken off the road.
Now it escalated to alleged poking of guns and the issue of conducting police checkpoints in Cebu City renewed the trading of barbs between Mayor Tomas Osmena and Cebu City Police Director Colonel Royina Garma.
Garma at first showed to reporters a video taken from a police checkpoint in Barangay Kasambagan last Sunday evening where Osmena allegedly berated the team of Police Lt. Joffrey Grande and later on Major Chuck Barandog, the checkpoint supervisor and chief of the City Mobile Force Company (CFMC).
Osmena was heard saying, “Who is in command here? Answer the question. You can not ask people to go down, it’s not your job.”
It looked like that the Mayor was angry but Garma said his men merely gave chase to the convoy of Vice Mayoralty bet City Councilor Mary Ann Delos Santos because the group allegedly did not stop at the checkpoint that they set-up.
Garma said a commotion ensued because his men issued Temporary Operators Permit (TOP) to the erring drivers.
The city police chief defended Barandog and his men because if it was her who was at the scene, she will have those violators hand-cuffed and face criminal charges.
“Mabait pa nga si Barandog, kung ako nilampasan mo ako tapos may checkpoint, lahat ng running violations ibigay ko sa iyo. Second, that is disobedience, posasan kita,” Garma told reporters.
She said she will still consult their lawyers on the possible charges against the group of Osmena and delos Santos but Osmena beat her to the draw as the Mayor said that they will be filing charges against the police.
“Lawyers collating all the videos and pictures of what happened last night. Expect charges to be filed tomorrow.”
“Harass my people all you want. We will not back down. You can intimidate the people you are supposed to protect all you want. But you cannot intimidate me,” Osmena commented on his Facebook page.
The Mayor arrived in the area from their “pulong-pulong” after he was informed that the convoy of Delos Santos encountered the problem.
Delos Santos for her part claimed that she saw personally how Barandog allegedly poked a gun to one of her back-up in a motorcycle.
She admitted passing on the checkpoint by just slowing down their four-wheeled vehicles but she was surprised why three of her back-up men who were in motorcycles were chased.
One of those in the motorcycle who had a belt-bag was approached by Barandog and thereupon the police officer aimed his gun to the person.
Barandog also faced another where Delos Santos claimed she stood in the middle and the gun of the police officer was already aimed towards her.
“Ako ni interfere. I was in the middle when he aimed the gun. I was in the middle, so, I was trying to tell him, akoy ig-a, ayaw akong tawo.”
“I was there to help and protect my men, we were helpless, wala miy dag-anan, wala miy pistola, wala mi manghilabot. We abide by the rules and regulations,” the incumbent Cebu City councilor said in a press conference.
Delos Santos also alleged that Barandog showed an edited video where Mayor Osmena was seen because the portion where Barandog poked gun on his men were not included.
“Why was it edited? I was there, I saw it. That is how abusive they are. They intimidated us. They harassed us. Kami ang agrabyado dili sila. Unsaon man namo pag-harass nila wala miy mga pusil?”
Delos Santos surmised somebody is instructing the police to harass their group, describing it as the “dirtiest” that she experienced in the last 24 years that she is in local politics.
“If you can do it to me, there is no reason that you cannot do it to any ordinary Cebuano. I mean what kind of culture now do we have in the City of Cebu in my entire 24 years in politics, I have never ever experienced this kind. It’s so dirty,” Delos Santos said.
Prior to the incident last Sunday, last week, the cops who did a checkpoint near the residence of Mayor Osmena were ordered recalled to their headquarters after they were seen on the FB video to have accepted sandwiches from the Mayor’s wife, Cebu City Councilor Margot Osmena, who went out of their house just to distribute snacks to the policemen.