Perjury case filed vs boxing promoter

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Saturday, October 13, 2012


HE THREATENED to have boxing promoter Rex “Wakee” Salud cited in contempt for defying a court ruling. He warned Salud’s lawyers of disbarment for their “ignorance of the law.”

Now, Cordova Mayor Adelino Sitoy wants Salud jailed for making “false statements” in his certificate of candidacy (COC).

Sitoy, who will seek reelection in May next year, filed two counts of perjury against Salud at the Lapu-Lapu City Prosecutor’s Office yesterday.

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In his affidavit, Mayor Sitoy said that Salud falsely claimed that he has resided in Barangay Cogon, Cordova for one year and 11 months.

Salud also made a false assertion that he will become a registered voter of Cordova, the mayor said.

But lawyer Fillmore Gomos, one of Salud’s lawyers, described the lawsuit as premature.

In a phone interview, Gomos said the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has yet to decide on the disqualification case Sitoy filed against Salud.

They are also still awaiting the decision on the motion of reconsideration they filed at the Regional Trial Court (RTC).

“If I were him (Sitoy), I would wait for the decision of the Comelec and the RTC,” Gomos said.

The evidence Salud’s lawyers presented to the court include the testimonies of 155 Cogon residents that Salud resides in the place.

In his affidavit, Sitoy said Salud indicated in his COC that his period of residence in Cogon is one year and 11 months even though Cordova’s Comelec office, the Municipal Trial Court for Cities (MTCC) and the RTC already rejected this claim.

Salud also claimed that he will be a registered voter of Cogon even though his registration was already rejected by Comelec, his petition denied by the MTCC and his appeal denied by the RTC with finality.

Salud’s claims, Sitoy said, are false because when the boxing promoter filed his COC last Oct. 4, he was not a registered voter of Cordova and has not filed any new application for registration or for transfer of voter’s registration with Cordova’s Comelec office.

Sitoy asked the prosecutor’s office to conduct an early investigation and elevate the perjury cases to the proper court.

Gomos said they are ready to submit their counter-affidavit.

He said that if the Comelec and the RTC decide in favor of Salud, Sitoy’s perjury case “will have no leg to stand on.”

Gomos said a hearing on the disqualification case against Salud is slated on Oct. 23 at the Comelec in Manila.

Last Sept. 11, the MTCC denied Salud’s petition to be a registered voter of Cordova, a decision that RTC Judge Raphael Yrastorza Sr. affirmed last Oct. 1.

Despite the court ruling, Salud filed his COC for mayor at Cordova’s Comelec office, last Oct. 4. Thousands of supporters accompanied him.

Earlier, Gomos said Salud can still register as a voter of Cordova, based on the court decision. The Comelec will register voters until Oct. 31.

Sitoy earlier threatened to ask the court to cite Salud in contempt for filing a COC despite the court ruling.

But Salud’s lawyers argued he cannot be cited in contempt because there was no court order prohibiting him from filing a COC.

Sitoy has also threatened to file a disbarment case against Salud’s lawyers for their “ignorance of the law.”

The boxing promoter has said he will exhaust all legal means to pursue his bid for mayor of Cordova.

Interviewed during the filing of his COC, he said it was boxing champion and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao, a close friend, who urged him to transfer his voter’s registration to Cordova.

The boxing promoter revealed that Pacquiao plans to invest in the town.

Apart from Sitoy and Salud, two other candidates are vying for mayor of Cordova.

Vice Mayor Rodrigo Jumao-as is running under the One Cebu Party. Another mayoral aspirant is independent candidate Johnson Tan Jr.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 13, 2012.

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