By Francis Allan L. Angelo

 

A JOKE may turn out to be a serious problem for a ranking Iloilo City police official who is facing sexual harassment charges lodged by a non-uniformed personnel assigned at the LaPaz police station.

 

Alias Mika (not her real name) claimed that Senior Insp. Virgilio Buena, operations chief of the Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO), touched her hair, chest and waist inside the office of Senior Insp. Alexander Rosales, LaPaz police officer-in-charge last week.

 

Mika, who is a casual employee hired by City Hall and assigned to do clerical jobs at the LaPaz PNP station, said Buena even asked her personal questions and offered to send her to school.

 

The complainant said she ran out of the office for fear that things will go out of hand.

 

Mika filed her complaint with the Women and Children’s Concern Desk even as her family prepares to lodge formal charges with the prosecutor.

 

Over the weekend, Supt. Eugenio Espejo, ICPO officer-in-charge, said Buena admitted touching Mika’s hair and mole in her chest but denied squeezing or fondling her waist.

 

“Buena also said that what he did was just a joke, lahug-lahug lang,” Espejo said.

 

The Daily Guardian tried to get Buena’s side but he cannot be reached.

 

In an interview over Aksyon Radyo, Mika said Buena did not mention that he was only joking when he made the alleged advances to her.

 

The complainant said they will pursue her case against Buena despite reported efforts by some quarters to amicably settle the incident.

 

Espejo said he will recommend that the Police Regional Office-6 will investigate Buena instead of the ICPO taking the cudgels “to avoid perceptions of a white wash.”

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