BACOLOD City – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) Second Division denied the petition for disqualification filed against incumbent Mayor Evelio “Bing” Leonardia.
In a resolution dated May 2, Comelec said Leonardia “did not make any material misrepresentation when he filed his certificate of candidacy (COC).”
“Neither does he possess a ground for disqualification by virtue of his removal from office,” added the resolution penned by Comelec Commissioners Luie Tito Guia, Socorro Inting and Antonio Kho Jr.
Leonardia succeeded in his reelection bid as Bacolod mayor in the recently concluded May 13, 2019 midterm elections.
He garnered 144,776 votes – winning by 63,528 votes against former councilor Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, who got only 81,248.
Edgar Cadagat filed the petition for disqualification against Leonardia after the latter filed his COC in October last year.
He said the now mayor-elect made a material misrepresentation when he answered “no” in item No. 22 of the COC, which asks: “Have you ever been found liable for an offense which carries with it the accessory penalty of perpetual disqualification to hold public office which has become final and executory?”
Cadagat cited that Leonardia was found guilty of an administrative offense of grave misconduct and gross neglect of duty with a penalty of dismissal from service and accessory penalty of perpetual disqualification from holding public office as stated in an Ombudsman joint resolution on OMB-V-C-13-0177 and OMB-A-V-13-0186 dated Dec. 2, 2016.
City Legal Officer Joselito Bayatan said the joint resolution Cadagat was referring to was the P50-million furniture case against Leonardia.
The case had already been dismissed by the Court of Appeals. Such dismissal was further sustained by a ruling from the Supreme Court in June 2018./PN