Los­ing bet asks Com­elec to nul­lify Es­calante’s may­or­ship

Sun Star Bacolod - - Front Page - BY TERESA D. ELLERA

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 feb. 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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