CITY OF BACOLOD: Bacolod City Mayor-elect Alfredo “Albee” Benitez announced Thursday (May 26) that he would set up a “truth commission” to audit the dealings of the former administration.
“The Commission will be responsible for studying and auditing all transactions in the spirit of transparency,” Benitez said.
The outgoing administration of Mayor Evelio Leonardia has come under fire from netizens for alleged anomalous deals ranging from overpriced supplies and equipment to unliquidated cash advances.
Leonardia has denied allegations saying its administration is transparent as all transactions are available online.
Benitez, who was part of the campaign for change, said “we want to know what happened in the past.”
Audit will cover entire new government center, new mayor says
Benitez, a businessman and former congressman from Negros Occidental Third District representing Asenso Bacolod garnered 171,893 votes while Leonardia of Grupo Progreso secured 107,447 votes in the mayoral race. He foiled Leonardia’s bid for a final and final term.
Leonardia, who filed an electoral protest with the Electoral Commission, claimed that there had been massive vote buying and that “fake” voters had been allowed to vote in the May 9 elections, which led to a “mysterious and incredible” result.
Leonardia requested a manual recount of the 450 precincts consolidated, asked the polling agency to declare a “failed election” and conduct special polls in the city of Bacolod.
“Good is not good enough. We will meet all the expectations of the public. It will be more than good. It will be the best. The hopes are with Team Asenso. Bacolodnons victory has arrived,” said Benitez, adding that “now you can all be proud to have joined Team Asenso”.
The new mayor said he would call on elected officials and city government employees “to go the extra mile to give Bacolod the service it deserves.”
“We want to make sure that all Bacolodnons enjoy progress. As Cong. Greg Gasataya said, no one will be left behind. If we are all together, we will all progress for a better Bacolod,” he said. he adds.
Benitez said they decided to take the oath at Barangay Sincang airport because it gave him the biggest margin of over 5,000 votes. He said that after the May 9 election and proclamation, they began working on the promises they had made during the campaign for their first 100 days.
Representative Greg Gasataya and councilors-elect Jason Villarosa, Vladimir Gonzalez and Simplicia Distrito, all from the Asenso team led by Benitez, were also sworn in.
An official swearing-in ceremony will take place before the end of June so that supporters and stakeholders can join in.