UST FACULTY Union President Dr. Gil Gamilla has filed a libel complaint against nine former union officers who accused him of impropriety over the alleged illegal release of P9.5 million in union funds to a property developer in 2006.

Gamilla filed the complaint before the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office last August 10, less than a month after the formation of the Committee on Peers (COP), a body that will probe the disbursement of millions in union funds to a failed property project.

The nine faculty members, collectively described as the “Fidelity Group,” are former Vice President for Grievance Jose Ngo, former Vice President for Legal Affairs Mark Maramba, former Vice President External Irma Potenciano, former Secretary General Ma. Lourdes Medina, former Sergeant-at-Arms Celso Nierra, and former directors Dante Jose Mercado, Elizabeth Arenas, Juanita Subaldo, and Emerito Gonzales.

In his complaint-affidavit, Gamilla said the nine former union officers “persistently, publicly, and maliciously imputed false acts and omissions against [him] that are clearly aimed to dishonor and discredit [his] reputation.”

His affidavit also said the Fidelity Group used “various ways to circulate, spread and publish false accusations against him through: emails; distribution of flyers, reports; circulation of articles; posting at bulletin boards and room-to-room powerpoint presentations.”

‘”There is no doubt on the ill will of the respondents (Fidelity Group)—to discredit and dishonor my reputation, to tarnish my name and to advance their own political agenda for the USTFU elections held last February 2010,” Gamilla, who won the union elections, also said in his affidavit, a copy of which was obtained by the Varsitarian.

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Gamilla’s complaint was supported by testimonies from faculty members Raymundo Melegrito, Rebecca Castro, and Stephen Querico Buñi.

In a text message, principal respondent Ngo said the “Fidelity Group” has decided to exercise self-restraint while waiting for the findings of the COP.

“The truth is a defense against libel and this is the objective in forming the (COP) which Gamilla himself approved, [and] whose inquiry Gamilla is now undermining by filing this libel case,” Ngo said.

COP head Rafael Bautista declined to comment “to avoid legal complications.”

Last January, the Fidelity Group demanded accountability from Gamilla and vice president Gil Garcia for P9.5 million in union funds loaned to property developer Saturn Resources, Inc. allegedly without the knowledge of the union board.

To clean his name, Gamilla filed a complaint before the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office last February 17 against Mario Villamor of Saturn Resources.

In a letter to the Varsitarian last September 24, Villamor said: “we are doing everything humanly possible to settle our accounts with USTFU. The matter is before the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office.”

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