Mayor charged for abusing wife

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The wife of Mayor Rodolfo Espina Sr. of Kawayan, Biliran filed a complaint against him before the Office of the Ombudsman, saying he physically abused her.

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Myra Espina accused her husband of violating Sections 3(c) and (d) of the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act, and Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft Law, as well as of grave misconduct and conduct unbecoming of a public officer.

“For several times, respondent had physically abused the complainant, sometimes for no apparent reason and some other times for petty quarrels and misunderstandings,” her nine-page complaint filed on Monday stated.

When it became unbearable, she filed a complaint for physical abuse before the Department of Justice Regional Office in Tacloban City, which was amicably settled when Rodolfo Espina promised to change his allegedly violent ways.

But the complaint narrated that the couple, who were civilly wed in 2011, had a heated argument in August 18, 2014 about an hour after midnight during which he allegedly punched her several times in the stomach and breast.

“On the following day, again out of anger, respondent poked a knife in the complainant’s neck and threatened to kill her,” it alleged.

Attached to the complaint was a medico-legal report from the Eastern Visayas Medical Center dated August 19, 2014, which found the complainant had an abrasion in the neck and hematomas in her arms and left leg.

Myra Espina then filed complaint for violation of Section 3(A) of the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act before the Commission on Human Rights Regional Office in Tacloban City.

The said provision pertains to physical violence.

“From then on, complainant went into hiding for fear of reprisals and further harm from the respondent,” the complaint filed before the Office of the Ombudsman read.

She also alleged her husband thereafter failed and refused to give her financial support, which she said added to the emotional and psychological harassment that she allegedly received.

“With the very strong and wide clout and influence of the respondent being a scion of the Espina political clan of the Province of Biliran, his brother being the incumbent congressman of the province, it is most respectfully requested that these cases be tried in the Ombudsman Central Office, if possible,” she said.

The complaint she filed before the anti-graft office pertains to psychological violence and economic violence under the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act.

She argued her husband was also liable for graft when he allegedly caused her “undue injury, body pains, embarrassment and humiliation.”

The Anti-Graft Law declares several corrupt practices unlawful such as “causing any undue injury to any party, including the government, or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his official administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence.”

Pending investigation in the administrative complaint, she asked that her husband be preventively suspended saying his continued stay in office “will prejudice these cases filed against him” considering that he “wields enough influence and power.”

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