By SHIELA MAE BUTLIG
THE Commission on Election (Comelec) is scheduled to hear today a disqualification case filed by a former village official against Mayor Oscar Moreno.
The case was filed by former barangay chairman William Guialani who asserted that Moreno should be disqualified from the mayoral race because of a ruling by the Office of the Ombudsman that found the mayor guilty of graft in connection with cases filed by Antonio Nuñez.
Nuñez cases stemmed from the capitol rental of heavy equipment without public biddings when Moreno was still Misamis Oriental governor.
Guialani said the ombudsman, administratively, slapped Moreno with dismissal and perpetual disqualification from holding public office, the implementation of which was stopped by the appellate court.
Nuñez’s cases have been elevated by the ombudsman to the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan.
Guialani said he would respect whatever decision the Comelec makes.
“Whatever the decision, I will respect it. Kung dili enough akong evidence, OK lang but I believe I have strong evidence,” Guialani said. “I am just a concerned citizen and I am only following the law.”
Jose Gabriel La Viña, a former agriculture undersecretary who is one of those challenging Moreno’s reelection bid, said he thinks that the mayor would be disqualified by the Comelec “or else I will defeat him.”
City hall spokesperson Maricel Casiño-Rivera called Guialani’s disqualification case “another political harrassment” and a “part of a massive demolition job” against Moreno.
Rivera said a similar disqualification case was filed by a mayoral candidate against Moreno after the mayor filed his certificate of candidacy last year. “The case was trashed,” she said.
Rivera said the political enemies of Moreno have long busied themselves in filing all sorts of cases in an attempt to cripple the Moreno administration.
She said it is “a cruel vilification campaign… The more they do this, the more people are seeing through what kind of politicians they are.”