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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, May 5, 2016
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Mayor hopes for clean elections

Bacolod Mayor Monico Puentevella yesterday said he is still looking forward to a clean and honest election on May 9 despite the alleged black propaganda of his political rivals against him.

Puentevella said Bacolodnons are tired of dirty politics, but they are intelligent enough to know who's telling the truth and who is spreading lies.

“As servant leaders, we must be role models. Let us be an example to our constituents,” said Puentevella adding he is hoping for “fair play, clean election” on Monday, and for the candidates to “salute the winner and accept defeat”.

He also took the opportunity to air his sentiments on the tampering of the Motion to Transfer Hearing filed by Adelaida Rendon on November 24, 2009.

Puentevella said that the falsification of the documents was not a “simple error” and the deliberate insertion of the fake Motion was intended to deprive him of his legal rights.

“We will go to the bottom of this, identify the culprit and file the appropriate charges if he is found guilty,” said Puentevella.

If he is re-elected as mayor, he will pursue the case to “see the end of the issue”, he said, adding that the truth will always prevail in the end.

Puentevella also forewarned the public to be vigilant in the next few days as black propaganda coming from the other camp is beginning to surface.

The latest, he added, is a text message accusing the MKK Partido Bacolod of vote buying where voters should personally sign a waiver before receiving a certain monetary amount on Monday, he said.

However, former City Legal Officer Joselito Bayatan said that before Puentevella's call for a clean and honest election becomes credible, he must first prove his credibility.

Bayatan said the people of Bacolod have long been waiting for his answer as to why he bought these overpriced computer at P400,000 each, with about 56 units still unaccounted and appear to be ghost deliveries, all valued at P22,400,000.

This case before the Sandiganbayan caused his recent suspension from public office. And there are more cases against him before the Ombudsman, he said

Bayatan said Puentevella and his son Rocky Puentevella were involved in the “Ukay Ukay” case that victimized the poor ukay-ukay vendors of their meager capital of P300,000.

Puentevella is yet to account for about P50.5 million of the BASOC funds which caused the Philippine Sports Commission to file a plunder case against him, Bayatan said.

He is also facing malversation cases that involve the unaccounted BASOC funds of about P37 million, he said.

Bayatan said these plunder and malversation cases show that the checks covering public funds were deposited by Puentevella to his personal bank account. The magnitude of offenses do not anymore distinguish whether the source of the anomalies come from the poor vendors or from the rich coffers of the government.

But now he is calling for honesty and cleanliness, much less in the conduct of the election? He asked.

Bayatan said Puentevella also mentioned about his allegedly tampered motion in his certiorari case, where he wants to identify the culprit and wants to see the “end of the issue.”

But isn't it that Puentevella had already pointed to the Ombudsman in the possession and custody of his alleged falsified motion? He even wanted the NBI to investigate the Ombudsman. This is very clear in the pleadings made by Puentevella's lawyer and very discernible in the press statements he released to the public last May 2, he said.

Bayatan said that by any legal appreciation, the one who is in possession and custody of a falsified document is deemed to be the author of such falsification. “I can only admire Puentevella in his boldness to accuse the Ombudsman of such thing, while the Ombudsman had caused his indictment for his overpriced computer case that resulted in his suspension” he said.

They cannot understand what black propaganda Puentevella is harping at. What they can only now experience is that he has ran out of issues, political or moral, in his bid for re-election, and all he can do is to distort facts and fabricate stories, like that of his alleged tampered motion that he attributed it to the Ombudsman, Bayatan added.*CGS

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