“LET’S get it on.”
This was the reaction of former Bacolod City mayor Monico Puentevella after Mayor Evelio Leonardia earlier said that he is planning to file criminal charges against him and his two sons for alleged tampering of the video of President Rodrigo Duterte during the campaign rally of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) at the Victorias City Coliseum on March 8.
Puentevella, who held a press conference at his residence on Wednesday, March 13, said he is ready to face and answer the charges to be filed against him and his two sons.
“If you file charges, go ahead. This is a free country,” Puentevella said.
City Legal Officer Joselito Bayatan, Leonardia’slegal counsel, earlier said that they are now assessing the evidence in order to file the case against the former mayor and his two sons: Councilor Claudio Puentevella and Bribri Puentevella for violation of Republic Act No. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.
Puentevella said he is not a computer expert to have done what he was accused of doing.
“I’m not looking for a fight, but then they are bullying us. They (Leonardia’s camp) hired thousands of trolls to attack us on social media,” he said.
He continued that Leonardia should stop attacking him because he is not his opponent in the May elections.
Puentevella, who is running for congressman, advised the city mayor to take seriously the stern warning given by President Duterte.
“This is why I believe that this launching (PDP-Laban) was done in Victorias City and not in Bacolod so that the President was free to air his sentiment especially on illegal drugs, the number one problem in the country,” Puentevella said.
He said that President Duterte mentioned the name of Leonardia at least three times.
“The issue here is illegal drugs. The message of President Duterte for you is very clear that if you are involved in illegal drugs, he will kill you. That is a stern warning so take it seriously for your own good,” he said.
Puentevella cited an earlier SunStar Bacolod report that in Western Visayas, only Bacolod City doesn’t have any barangay cleared from the presence of illegal drugs by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).
PDEA earlier revealed that all 61 barangays in Bacolod are affected by illegal drugs.
“Bacolod is now in trouble and who is to blame it? Do not divert the issue. The problem now of Bacolod is you (Leonardia),” Puentevella said.
Leonardia earlier said that President Duterte was only trying to ask him to confirm to the crowd that he was part of a meeting of all the mayors in Malacañang.
“But because of the poor sound system, his message was not clear and I did not know what he was talking about. So because I cannot hear him, I stood up and in fairness to the President, he repeated it just for my sake,” Leonardia said.
Leonardia also said in the previous year, Puentevella also altered the video of the President on social media.
“It’s propaganda to mislead the public,” he added.