Comelec maintains decision to reject former Bacolod mayor’s petition

Comelec upholds dismissal of ex-Bacolod mayor’s petition

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) en banc has upheld the second division’s ruling dismissing a petition filed by former Bacolod mayor Evelio “Bing” Leonardia for a vote recount and the nullification of the proclamation of Alfredo Abelardo “Albee” Benitez as mayor of Bacolod.

In a resolution released on May 24, the Comelec dismissed Leonardia’s motion for reconsideration and affirmed the second division’s order. The poll body stated that the petition lacked evidence and justification for reopening and revising all the ballots from the clustered precincts.

Benitez won the 2022 polls with 171,893 votes, while Leonardia garnered 107,447 votes. The Comelec emphasized that the allegations in the petition and motion were broad, general, and speculative.

Barangay Captain Caesar Distrito, Benitez’s spokesman, stated that all legal actions filed by Leonardia’s camp had been dismissed or denied. He noted that the Comelec’s decision solidified Benitez’s victory and dismissed doubts raised by Leonardia’s camp.

The denial of Leonardia’s motion for reconsideration puts an end to the legal challenges against Benitez’s win. Distrito emphasized that Benitez’s victory was clear and convincing, with a significant margin of 64,446 votes.

The Comelec’s ruling indicated that Leonardia’s election protests lacked legal and factual basis, serving primarily as harassment tactics with no merit.

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