Negros Councilor fined P10,000,pleads guilty to sexual harassment charge

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MANILA, Philippines — For sexually harassing an employee and pleaded guilty before the court, a former councilor  was fined P10,000 by the Sandiganbayan.

Carlo Villavicencio, a former member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental pleaded guilty  for sexually harassing a technical assistant in August to December 2005.

The complainant said Villavicencio took advantage of his official position and demanded to date and have a sexual encounter with his staff member as a condition for her continued employment.

But when the employee declined the sexual advances of  Villavicencio, he then  refused to renew or favorably endorse the complainant’s appointment at the Sangguniang Panlungsod.

During the 08 August 2017 pre-trial in Cebu City, the accused manifested his intention to change his plea from “not guilty” to “guilty.”

When he changed his plea, the court explained to him the consequences of his intended plea.  Villavicencio was also informed “that the nature of the charge may qualify it as a crime involving moral turpitude where he may face disqualification if he ran again for public office.”

According to court documents, “the accused understood [the same] and persisted in his change of plea.”

In a Decision promulgated on 22 August 2017, Villavicencio was found guilty of Section 3 of the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995 (Republic Act No. 7877) and was fined P10,000.00.

The decision was penned by Associate Justices Ma. Theresa Dolores Gomez-Estoesta, Zaldy Trespeses and Bayani H. Jacinto.-Harold V. Pontongan/Newsline.ph

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