FORMER Board Member Victor Puey of Negros Occidental has asked the Court of Appeals (CA) Visayas Station in Cebu City to inhibit from hearing the petition for injunction filed by Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia.
This pertains to the order of the Office of the Ombudsman dismissing Leonardia and nine former and current city executives for illegal procurement of furniture and fixtures for the Bacolod Government Center in 2008.
Puey, the original citizen-complainant who initiated the case against the mayor and his co-accused, alleged in a five-page urgent motion received by the Appellate Court on March 7 that the CA Visayas Station is bias and has already pre-judged the case in favor of Leonardia, who obtained a temporary a 60-day temporary restraining order on January 20, which will end on March 21.
He added that he “was very dismayed and disturbed” that the resolution for the TRO “already discussed the condonation doctrine without giving the complainant in the Ombudsman case a chance to refute the argument of (Leonardia), “paving the way for the grant of the petitioners motion for injunction.”
“It is very clear and apparent that this Honorable Court has already prejudged the case in favor of petitioner Evelio Leonardia,” Puey further said.
He added that the mayor’s camp announcement in a local newspaper (not SunStar Bacolod) that they expect to secure a preliminary injunction “only goes to show that they already expect and are sure of a favorable ruling from the court.”
Councilor Caesar Distrito, an ally of Leonardia, said Tuesday that he expects Leonardia will get an injunction.
“We are confident that the CA will directly issue a permanent injunction to the mayor. As a procedure, a temporary injunction could be issued after the 60- day TRO but the CA may issue directly a permanent injunction,” Distrito said.
He added that Leonardia is “entitled to the Aguinaldo Doctrine, which is applicable and was a good law when the case was filed based on the alleged irregularities between years 2008 and 2010.”
The Ombudsman ruling against Leonardia was contained in a 21-page joint resolution signed by Assistant Ombudsman Edna Diño on December 2, 2016 and approved by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales on December 13, 2016. (With reports from TDE)