By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
Former Bacolod City Mayor Monico Puentevella, who is running in the upcoming 2019 midterm elections for Bacolod City lone district representative, yesterday shrugged off incumbent Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia’s threats of cybercrime charge over an allegedly “tampered” video depicting a speech by President Rodrigo Duterte.
The former mayor said Leonardia is facing the wrong opponent since former Bacolod City Councilor Jocelle Batapa-Sigue is running for mayor.
He also named Duterte as another one of the mayor’s opponents.
“After the Victorias incident, please take a look at the stern warning given by the president,” Puentevella pointed out.
He explained, Victorias City may have been selected as a venue for a campaign rally instead of Bacolod City as Duterte would be free to air his sentiments on the city’s ongoing drug problem. Puentevella claimed Bacolod City has been called out by the president three times, alongside Cebu City and Iloilo City.
“Who is to blame?” the former mayor asked. “[Jed Patrick Mabilog] for Iloilo; [Tomas Osmeña] for Cebu; in Bacolod, who is to blame?”
Puentevella is demanding Leonardia to “stop chasing” him as he is running for congress and his real opponent is incumbent Bacolod City lone district Rep. Greg Gasataya.
“Do not divert the issue, the problem now of Bacolod is [Leonardia’s],” he said.
Earlier, City Legal Officer, Atty. Joselito Bayatan, said, while they are presently assessing the evidence, he believes there have been alterations made to the material in question.
“It is not for the purpose of honest reporting, but is actually to malign the reputation of the mayor,” he said.
Aside from Puentevella, they are also trying to trace the “true source” of the posts.
There also plans to submit a report to the Office of the President./DGB, WDJ