THE Office of the Ombudsman ordered the suspension of Marinduque 1st District Board Member John Pelaez for one year without pay in connection with the alleged gun-toting complaint filed against him.
In an 11-page decision, Deputy Ombudsman for Luzon Gerard Mosquera, found Pelaez guilty of abuse of authority and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service.
The case stemmed from a complaint filed by Ronel Ganibo, Jeffrey Masculino and Berwin Rivera, all residents of Barangay Balimbing in Boac town, who accused the official of pointing a gun at them at the Marinduque Food Center on December 4, 2016 for suspecting that he was the subject of a conversation between Rivera and the storekeeper.
The complainants said that even if they had no intention to laugh at Pelaez, they apologized and explained that he was not the subject of the joke. But the official was not pacified and said, “I can kill you here now. Maybe you don’t know me. I am board member Pelaez.”
It was also reported that Pelaez strangled Ganibo and pointed the gun at his neck while dragging him that if not for the timely arrival of a mobile police car, Pelaez and his companions might have killed Ganibo.
The complaints were supported by a medico-legal certificate and photographs of the physical injuries Ganibo sustained.
In his counter-affidavit, Pelaez denied the allegations saying he learned that the complainants earlier figured in a similar confrontation with another group and he was merely trying to stop their unruly behavior. Pelaez added he wanted to make sure they were already going home so that they could not create any more trouble.
The Ombudsman, however, did not find merit in Peaez’s explanation saying “It is inconceivable that respondent followed complainants all the way to the town plaza just to urge them to go home. Respondent could easily call for police assistance to accompany complainants to their respective residences, but he did not.”
Pelaez was found administratively liable and the Ombudsman issued an order for the Department of Interior and Local Government to implement the sanction.