Bayatan questions motives in pursuing furniture case
By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Court of Appeals recently approved motions for reconsideration filed by Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia and former Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) chairman, Atty. Goldwyn Nifras, in relation to the alleged anomalous purchase of P50 million worth of furniture and fixtures for the Bacolod City Government Center (BCGC) in 2008, following a complaint affidavit recently filed by former Negros Occidental Board Member Victor Puey.
Despite Puey pointing out in his affidavit over P2.5 million worth of undelivered goods, along with a Commission on Audit (COA) notice of disallowances showing an overpayment of P890,432.12, the court ruled all furniture had been delivered and there was no overpayment made.
City Legal Office (CLO) head and Leonardia’s legal counsel, Atty. Joselito Bayatan, questioned Puey’s motives in pursuing the case, saying the case already cleared the court.
“There is no corruption,” he affirmed.
Last week, Puey filed the case before the Office of the Ombudsman, despite the mayor being cleared last month by the Court of Appeals-Visayas Station.
Puey earlier claimed the case had been prejudged by the Court of Appeals.
According to a letter he wrote earlier this year, the former board member claimed the Condonation Legal Doctrine was already being discussed before hearing rebuttal to arguments made by Leonardia in his appeal.
He also highlighted a March 2, 2017 issue of a local newspaper with a headline reading
“Mayor’s camp expects preliminary injunction.”
He explained, with the said newspaper under ownership of the mayor’s family, “This only goes to show that they already expect and are sure of a favorable ruling.”/DGB, WDJ