Comelec disqualifies Legazpi councilor

Evelyn Macairan - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Another elected official in Legazpi City has been disqualified for violating the 45-day spending ban in the May 2022 elections.

In a resolution issued on May 5 but released only yesterday, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) disqualified Al Barizo for participating in the distribution of cash assistance for tricycle drivers 42 days before election day.

”He surely was a prominent figure in the expenditure of the said funds when those were handed out to the tricycle driver-beneficiaries,” the Comelec’s Second Division said in its resolution.

“Respondent’s participation in the... giving of cash assistance to tricycle drivers masked as a social welfare project during the campaign period undoubtedly benefitted his candidacy and buoyed his victory during the elections,” it said.

The complaint was filed by Joseph San Juan Armogila, a candidate for councilor in the May 2022 polls.

The Comelec said Barizo was a member of the committee on public utilities and energy at the time.

”As as an incumbent public official, respondent is in a position to influence local legislation to favor the transport sector,” the poll body said.

Mayor Carmen Geraldine Rosal, who was then a candidate for mayor, and her husband, former Albay governor Noel Rosal were present at the activity.

The Comelec unseated the former Albay governor over the same cash aid distribution program.

The poll body had also disqualified Rosal as mayor, but she remains in her post after the Supreme Court issued a status quo ante order.

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