SECTIONS
Wednesday, August 21, 2019
BACOLOD

Losing bet asks Comelec to nullify Escalante's mayorship

A LOSING candidate for Mayor in Cadiz City is asking the Commission on Election (Comelec) to nullify the mayorship of Cadiz City Mayor-elect Salvador Escalante.

Manuel Laurel Garganera III is also asking President Rodrigo Duterte to investigate the alleged corruption in Cadiz City.

Garganera was one of the four mayoralty candidates in Cadiz City during the May 13 midterm elections. Other candidates were Escalante, Ray Yee and Alona Estrella.

In his letter dated June 1 to Comelec, Manila Garganera said, "Escalante committed falsification after he deliberately withheld information that he was found guilty of abuse of authority in a decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. SP No.114642 entitled Leonilo Hulleza versus Escalante dated Jan. 31, 2012."

The CA decision cited," we find Escalante guilty of abuse of authority in the performance of his function beyond the contemplation of law by issuing the Floating Status Memorandum which amounted to the constructive dismissal of Hulleza. However, the imposition of the appropriate penalty against Escalante is no longer the local chief executive of Cadiz."

And, the CA decision was appealed by Mayor Patrick Escalante, brother of Salvador Escalante, but was affirmed by the Supreme Court, Second Division in G.R. No. 204838 with an Entry of Judgment dated February 20, 2013 and become final and executory in Aug. 14, 2013.

Garganera wrote the Comelec citing that the fact that the penalty for abuse of authority was not actually imposed on Salvador Escalante for the reason that he was no longer in the office, his conviction remains.

The case stemmed from the Office of the President decision dated Nov. 5, 2009 in O.P case No. 09-E-164, entitled leonilo Hulleza versus Salvador Escalante Jr. in his capacity as City Mayor of Cadiz City for abuse of authority, dishonesty and neglect of duty.

When asked for comment, Atty Reggie Placido, legal counsel of Salvador Escalanate said, "it is clear in a document shown by Garganera that Mayor-elect Salvador Escalante Jr. is cleared of dishonesty and dereliction of duty in the case filed by Hulleza."

"Nowhere in the dispositive portion of the decision does it state that Salvador Escalante is ineligible to run for a public position nor disqualified to hold public office. The decision of the CA have long been implemented by the city of Cadiz and the case is now closed," Placido further stated.


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