Bacolod City – “Our administration has always tried its best to follow rules and we follow what is required by law, by the Commission on Audit,” Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia said in reaction to the creation of a Truth Commission by the incoming administration.
“But of course, if you are a politician, things like this can also be misinterpreted as witch-hunting, a demolition job. We all know and understand that but we have nothing to hide. Let it go, where it may go. No problem with that,” the mayor said.
Mayor-elect Albee Benitez said that he created a “Truth Commission” to review and audit all previous transactions at the City Hall, as demanded by the public, in the “spirit of transparency.”
Benitez said it will be composed of several teams to make an audit of the City Hall.
Meanwhile, Leonardia had filed an election protest before the Commission on Election, claiming there was massive vote buying and that “fake” voters were allowed to cast their votes during the May 9 polls, resulting in the “mysterious and unbelievable” outcome.
The mayor sought a manual recount of all 450 clustered precincts, asked the poll body to declare a “failure of elections” and conduct special polls in the city.
Leonardia said this is the first time in his political career that he filed a protest. The more he moved around the city the more he is convinced and emboldened.
“My supporters believe that the results of the election are unthinkable. I am only going to the legalities of the matter for obvious reasons. But if you go to the layman’s point of view, all that we are asking is a manual recount because we want to see for ourselves what was written in the ballot,” he said.
“So, if the truth is what we want, let it be recounted for us to see what is the real truth. Let us all join hands that everybody go for the recount,” he said.
In the words of Councilor Rene Novero, they only want to know the truth. So, he is wondering why their political opponents do not want a recount. If they want the naked truth to come out they should allow a recount, Leonardia added. (Chrysee Semillano via The Visayan Daily Star (TVDS), photo courtesy of TVDS)