Narra mayor Gerandy Danao is facing a sexual harassment complaint in what his supporters claim is a politically motivated case launched by his opponents to thwart his bid for re-election in May.
Danao’s spokesperson, Jojo Gastanes, told Palawan News that the case was filed as early as 2019 and that it was only recently that they received a court summons for it.
The complainant was reportedly filed by a close relative of Prince Demaala, the son of former mayor Lucena Demaala, whom Danao defeated in the last local elections to upset the decades of dominance of the Demaala family in Narra politics.
According to Gastanes, the complainant claims that Danao harassed the victim in two separate instances. The first was allegedly at a gathering in front of the municipal building, where she claimed that Danao inappropriately touched her. The second allegedly happened at the municipal pier and involved verbal harassment.
Prince Demaala, who is running for mayor in May, denied in a separate interview any involvement in the complaint. He, however, declined to make a public statement on record.
Meanwhile, Gastanes said that they have already filed a motion for extension of counter-affidavit with the provincial fiscal’s office and currently have 15 days to submit a statement against the charges.
“Nag-file kami ng motion for extension para sa kanyang counter-affidavit, na ngayon ay nasa provincial fiscal. We have 15 days para masagot yong paratang na yan, ng pamangkin ni former mayor Lucy Demaala at pinsang buo ni Prince Demaala. Private secretary ang trabaho din niya noong panahon ni Mayor Lucy Demaala,” Gastanes said in a phone interview on Saturday.
Gastanes dismissed the complaint as a mudslinging tactic against Danao.
“Wala naman kaming problema dahil alam namin na yan ay mga fabricated lang na mga statement. Gusto lang sigurong ipakita na si Mayor Danao ay hindi maginoong tao, parang ganoon. Okay lang, ganyan talaga ang pulitika. Sexual harassment ang tawag nila, ang tawag namin diyan ay political harassment,” Gastanes said.