FAKE WEDDINGS: City Hall asks NBI to probe bogus marriages

By: Emme Rose Santiagudo

ILOILO City Mayor Jerry Treñas said he asked the help of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate on the alleged fake marriages at the Local Civil Registrar Office.

Treñas received complaints of fake marriages that involved unauthorized officers which were referred to the City Legal Office for investigation.

“Actually, may mga complaints, I referred to the city legal for investigation. Nakita sang City Legal basi may criminal liabilities, gindiretso nila dayun sa NBI. So, we will just cooperate with the investigation of NBI,” he said in an interview on Monday.

Treñas expressed his frustration on the alleged fake marriages, adding that he was surprised of the huge number.

“I was just surprised, 180 kun pinsaron mo bala kun ano na iya ano matabu sa mga kabataan nga gasalig ka nga tatay mo, nanay mo kasal na, dasun pagkuha mo sang papel waay gali,” he said.

Meanwhile, Local Civil Registrar Office head Romeo Caesar Manikan Jr. clarified that the role of their office in the processing of weddings is purely ministerial.

“After the marriage, ang ginacheck lang namon is if kompleto ang pirma sang mga parties involved. Our only duty is to only register the document. It is beyond our duty to check and look into the details of the solemnizing officer,” he said.

Manikan added that he welcomes the NBI probe on the allegedly fake marriages.

“I welcome that decision of the mayor para mapahibaluan ta ang allegedly 180 fake certificates of marriages. Maayo na gani para ma-investigate,” he said.

When asked if the move of the mayor was politically-motivated, Manikan refused to comment.

Manikan was among the department heads that were forced to file their respective leaves upon Treñas’ assumption into office, according to City Hall sources.

Treñas also overhauled the chiefs of various task forces and departments at the Iloilo City Hall.

He has emphasized that he must work with people he is comfortable with to ensure the smooth delivery of his programs.