“I was ordered re-assigned not in thename of public service but because of politics or because of the recentlyconcluded election or my affiliation to Mr. Romeo C.L. Manikan, my then boss atthe City Registrar’s Office,” read part of Esteral’s complaint-affidavit. According to Jungco, it had beenalmost a month since he last interacted with Esteral at city hall. Executive Assistant Rudiver Jungco Sr.said he could not recall having told Joe Mari Esteral, “Cooperate ka tani, pre…Buligi lang kami ma-pindown ang mga Manikan. Balik ka dayon sa mother unit mo. Balik man si misis mo.” However, he stressed he does not knowEsteral personally and had not talked to him. “Akonpanagupnop may tawo sa likod sini nga i-embarrasskami. Kami pa gani gina-harass kay te waay gid kami ka amo sina sa iya,”said Rico. He said he simply asked Esteral how hewas doing at the civil registry office. Sartorio, on the other hand, refusedto comment except to say he was saddened because of the “stereotyping” of thework at the Calajunan dumpsite./PN He also remembered telling Esteral, “Ti kon may nabal-an ka da nga kon ano mas better nga isugid mo ang tuod eh para indi ka naya maulamid.” According to Esteral his reassignmentwhich took effect on Aug. 20 was inconsistent with his mandated duties asBookbinder II. “Silingko kumusta ka da sa opisina mo? Daw joke-jokepa gani ang tono…siling ko kasikat na gidsang opisina niyo. Ano gakatabo da?” said Jungco. For his part, Rico said he merelyasked Esteral if the corruption allegations against the civil registry officewere true. He claimed it was Esteral who askedhim for help. Jungco wondered why Esteral complainedonly now. He believed there was somebody else behind the filing of thecomplaint. Iloilo City Hall. IAN PAUL CIRDERO/PN Esteralstated in his complaint that he learned about hisreassignment from Sartorio. Sartorio, he claimed, told him, “Jom, bal-an mo na gid na, Jom. Sa babaw na. Wala ko mahimo. Akig gid si Mayorkag si Melchor kay boss mo Johncee. Siguro damay ka lang di, pero kay boss mo gid sila akig kag sa ila grupo.” Jungco was one of seven city officialsEsteral complained before the Office of the Ombudsman for alleged grave coercion,grave misconduct, oppression, conduct prejudicial to the best interest of theservice, and unfair discrimination due to affiliation. Ampig,on the other hand, declined to comment but said it was within Esteral’s rightsto file a complaint. Treñas said, “Mahulat na lang ko ‘ya. Kon pasabton kita, ti masabat kita.” ILOILO City – Mayor Jerry Treñas’executive assistants and department heads denied coercing, oppressing orthreatening a regular city government employee who was reassigned to thedumpsite in Barangay Calajunan, Mandurriao district from the city registryoffice at city hall. “Indinga ako nagpatawag sa iya, siya nagpalapit sa akon. Nanawag ako sa iya konkamusta na siya sa Calajunan, hambal niya, ‘Sir, buligi ko bi.’ Nag-istorya kami. Namangkot ko kamusta sa localcivil registry office,” said Rico. The other respondents in Esteral’sOmbudsman complaint were Mayor Treñas, City Administrator Melchor Tan, CityGeneral Services Office head Joren Sartorio, City Legal Officer Edgardo Gil,Iloilo City Civil Registry assistant department head Cherry Ampig, and anotherTreñas executive assistant, Fernando Jose Rico.