JOAVAN HARASSED GAS ATTENDANTS

03/06/10 - The adopted son of Talisay City Mayor Socrates Fernandez is at it again.

Joavan Fernandez, 27, allegedly went wild past midnight yesterday and harassed the attendants of a Shell gasoline station in barangay Bulacao, Talisay City after they refused to refuel his vehicle on credit.

He also allegedly tried to kick Rolando Nara, 20, but the pump boy managed to avoid being hit.

Joavan also allegedly slapped the forehead of another pump boy, Rodel Requina, 19, after the latter talked to his father on the cell phone, who promised to pay the fuel. The mayor later went to the gasoline station and paid P3,000.

This was the second time in two weeks that Joavan also threatened the gas station employees after he refused to pay the items taken from the convenience store.

Yesterday's incident also came two days after the mayor's controversial son threatened the security guard of a condotel on D. Jakosalem Street and Ranudo Streets when he was refused entry to the building.

Last week, he also caused a stir in Talisay when he asked his father to send policemen to a motel for showing indecent films. A Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT) responded but found nothing.

Mayor Fernandez said he would leave it up to the voters in his city if they continue to trust his mayorship amid the series of misdemeanors and brushes with the law involving his adopted son.

Fernandez said in an interview with radio dyAB that he could not set aside his responsibilities as a father to Joavan.

“Gihimo na nako kutob sa akong mahimo. Manghinaot lang ko nga makatoltol gihapon siya sa saktong dalan (I have done the most that I can do. I am hoping that he will be able to find the right path),” he said.

Fernandez said Joavan was already made to undergo renewal seminars to help him. “Step by step, nagtuo ko nga mausab ra siya (I believe he will change).”

Fernandez, a respected Catholic evangelist who has often rescued his son from his legal entanglements, said that Joavan is a test of his faith in God.

“Isip amahan, ako gihapon gidawat tanan consequences ang tanang huna huna sa mga taw. Andam ko pag dawat ana sa election (As a father, I accept all consequences, the opinions of the people. I am ready to accept that during the elections) ,” said Fernandez.

Supt Henry Biñas, Talisay police chief, ordered an investigation into the incident even if the victims did not have it recorded in the police blotter.

Biñas asked the pumpboys to cooperate in the probe, give their statements to the investigators and not to be scared. “Kung mahadlok na sila, mogara na si Joavan Fernandez.”

Biñas said the previous cases involving Joavan did not prosper because most victims withdrew from the case. The video of the security camera that caught Joavan's antics can be used as material evidence, but would still be useless if the victims wouldn't testify, he added.

The manager and owner Christopher Ian Sim was not available for comment if they were filing charges against the son of the mayor.

But a female staffer just said, “it's still in the process.”

According to Nara, a native of Dalaguete town in southern Cebu, Joavan wanted his Mitsubishi Pajero refueled on credit.

But the attendants refused because of earlier instructions from management not to refuel Joavan's Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) unless he paid in cash or brought a note from his father-mayor.

Joavan had no cash and could not show any note from his father.

When the attendants refused to fuel the vehicle, Nara said Joavan got very angry and told the pumpboy: “Basin gusto kang himoon tikang molto sa gibarugan nimo (May be you would want me to turn you into a ghost from where you are standing now)!”

Nara said that while Joavan was uttering those words, he touched his waist as if to indicate he had a gun, although he did not see any gun.

Nara was inside the cashier's booth at that time while the cashier tried to contact Joavan's father to ask if they would refuel Joavan's car on credit.

Nara said he left the cashier's booth area to entertain another customer.

When he returned to the cashier's booth to bring the payment from the customer, Joavan disembarked from his Pajero and tried to kick him several times.

“Action siyag yatak nako, mi-atras ko. Action na sab siyag yatak atras ko, mura kog gigukod niya ba, pero wa ko maigo (When I return to the cashier booth, Joavan disembarked from his vehicle and tried to kick me but I moved back. He again tried to kick me and I moved back again. He seemed to chase me but he failed to hit me),” Nara said.

Joavan was able to reach his father on the phone. He gave the phone to another attendant Requina, also from Dalaguete.

Security Guard Jundil Antica, 28, said Joavan pushed the phone to Requina's ear and then, he slapped Requina's forehead.

Antica said the cashier verified the call by calling up the mayor who told him to just refuel Joaven's vehicle and the mayor would pay for it later. Antica said Requina felt the pain on his forehead after the strong slap.

Fernandez arrived a few minutes later after to pay the debt of Joavan. Antica said the amount was almost P3,000 because it was a full tank of gas.

But Antica said the mayor told them not to discuss the incident with anyone because it was just a result of miscommunication.

That's why Antica was scared. They did not have the incident placed on the police blotter but reported it to the barangay.

“Mahadlok mi sir kay naa man si mayor, iyang amahan ang iyang ingon sa mga pumpboys nga di padak-on (We got scared sir because the mayor, his father, told the pumpboys not to make a big fuss out of it),” Antica said.

He said he did not help Requina when the latter was slapped by Joavan because he got scared especially that Joavan also threatened him and vowed to blow up the gas station with a grenade last week.

Antica said Joavan wanted then to buy items in Shell's convenience store but on credit again.

The attendant in-charge was afraid so the guard entertained Joavan. But because of management's policy, Antica told Joavan that he could not give him the items unless he paid them in cash.

Joavan got angry and threatened that he had a grenade in the car.

"Akong gi-estoryahan nga pasayloa ko sir kay di mi makahatag nimo sir kay nagbilin og note ang tag-iya nga mao ni..ug tagaan ka namo kami sab ang makabayad, ug dili mi makabayad, ma-football mi (I told him 'please forgive me sir but we cannot give it to you because the owner left a note that if we give you the items, we would have to pay for it and if not, we would be dismissed from the service),” Antica said, recalling the incident two weeks ago.

Joavan's allegedly replied: “Naa koy granada diha. Unsay may gusto nimo? Pabuthon ko ning Shell (I have a grenade. What do you want? I would bomb this Shell)” Antica added.

However, Antica said Joavan paid for the items, but still allegedly showed his gun in the vehicle and again threatened the guard.

“Iya kong giingnan nga `guard timan-an ko nang nawong nimo ha, di ti ka katulgan karong gabhiuna' (He told me 'guard will remember your face because I will not sleep on this tonight'),” said Antica.

He said he was so scared that he asked his security agency to pull him out from the gas station.

“Wa ta kahibawo mobalik to unya. Kuyawan lagi mi sir (Who knows, he might come back. We are scared),” he said.

Asked if he would testify should a case be filed, he said he did not know because he is afraid that Joavan and his men would retaliate not just against him but also his wife and two children. /Reporter Doris C. Bongcac and Correspondent Jucell Cuyos (Cebu Daily News)

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