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City employee sues Hizon, cops

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CITY OF SAN FERNANDO–A government employee has sued Councilor Angie Hizon, her staff , a barangay personnel, four police officers and several John Does for arbitrary detention, unlawful arrest, grave coercion, unjust vexation and theft.

Mark Alvin Cortez filed the criminal case at the Office of the City Prosecutor last Jan. 24. Cortez, 34, is employed in the Office of the City Vice Mayor.

In his 15-page complaint-affidavit, Hizon’s co-respondents were named as Rex Manarang Ronquillo, Elvin Mendoza Reyes, Police Officer (PO)1 Eugine Sagcal, PO 3 Dennis Maraña, PO 2 Candy Talao, PO Manlapaz, and Senior Inspector Narciso Zingalawa Jr.

The case stemmed from a Nov. 15, 2018 incident when Cortez went to a party of senior citizens at the covered court of Barangay Maimpis.

“As part of my duties, I am tasked as the advance party of (the vice mayor’s) office for scheduled appearances and visits at various venues,” he said in the complaint, adding it included “moving in advance to the venue, minimizing any unexpected and difficult situations, arranging requirements before arrival, inspecting security measures and liaising with venue staff and local government units.“

He said Ronquillo and Reyes accosted him, accusing him of taking photograph and videos of Hizon without permission.

“I did not take any photographs and videos of Councilor Hizon,” Cortez asserted. Hizon, he said, berated him in front of many onlookers and forced him to admit taking photographs and video at the instruction of the vice mayor. “ She verbally threatened me and coerced me to make the said admissions. She likewise declared that she will have me arrested if I did not comply with her instructions to make the said admissions,” Cortez bared.

Hizon and the two men took his cellular phone, not returning them even to date.

DIRTY FINGER

Cortez said the councilor and the two men also concocted a story where he allegely pointed a dirty finger on Hizon. He called this an “outright lie.”

“Why in the world would I, a plain ordinary person, do such thing to an incumbent city councilor?” Cortez said.

Talao and Manlapaz detained him in the Sindalan police station. Maraña, Sagcal and Zingalawa refused to give him a lawyer, to contact his family or employer for help. The cops, while refusing to return his phone for evidence, did not give him a receipt. The three cops brought him to the prosecutor’s office for inquest. He was charged with unjust vexation and released on bail on Nov. 16.

Cortez said he filed the case to prove his innocence. “Wala po akong ginawang mali, “ he said.

Several private individuals including Vice Mayor Jimmy Lazatin provided legal help to Cortez to “help a man trying to stop the harm and lies done to him.”

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