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Dumaguete City, Philippines Friday, September 23, 2016
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Dumaguete SP looking for
missing bulletproof vests

The search for the missing bulletproof vests in Dumaguete continues with admissions from resource persons that they landed at the Office of the City Mayor, during the time of then mayor and now Rep. Manuel Sagarbarria (Neg. Or. 2 nd District).

In yesterday's regular session of the Sangguniang Panlungsod,  Supt. Jovito Atanacio, city police chief, was grilled for almost two hours by councilors whose purpose was to determine the whereabouts of the missing vests because the police badly need those in their anti-criminality campaign, especially against illegal drugs.

Councilor Michael Bandal, chairman of the SP Blue Ribbon Committee, presented evidences that, indeed, the vests were turned over by Elsie Lee to Sagarbarria in the presence of Atanacio and Senior Insp. Philippedes Sillero, and that of members of the press covering the turnover.

As to where they are now, Councilor Estanislao Alviola said he would not want to blame anybody, but he enjoined the committee to summon Sagarbarria to shed light on the missing vests and put a stop to the issue.

Ely Dejaresco, a member of the Dumaguete media, challenged the SP to bring the matter to court so all concerned parties will have their day in court. Media personalities Roy Bustillo, Neil Rio and Choy Gallarde, who were invited by the SP, stood by their videos, photographs and recordings, that quoted Sagarbarria as saying the vests should stay with City Hall first after they were donated.

Councilor Joe Kenneth Arbas asked whether it was merely a ceremonial turnover and the giver can just take it back even if photos would show there were physical turnover and physical acceptance of the vests in the concept of a donation. Arbas believes the city is making a mockery out of the donation simply because there were no official documents to prove the same showing the donation, no signatures made by the donor and the donee.

Bandal accepted the challenge to bring the matter to court, but as much as possible they would want the vests to surface without resorting to legal means.*JG


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