PDAF scam lawyer engaged to Leyte politician

Jed Asaph Cortes
Lawyer Levi Baligod is marrying former Baybay, Leyte, mayoral candidate Marilou 'Malot' Galenzoga in the summer, over a year after he lost his first wife to cancer

ENGAGED. Lawyer Levi Baligod and defeated Baybay City mayoral bet Marilou 'Malot' Galenzoga are set to tie the knot. Photo from Galenzoga's Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines – Amid the madness of the pork barrel scam comes a pleasant surprise.  

The legal counsel of the principal whistleblowers in the pork barrel scam, Levito “Levi” Baligod just got engaged with former mayoral candidate Marilou “Malot” Galenzoga of Baybay, Leyte. They will wed in the summer.

Baligod is a widower, having lost his wife to cancer a few weeks before he agreed in February 2013 to help get the National Bureau of Investigation to rescue Benhur Luy, now a state witness in the scam.

The news of Baligod’s and Galenzoga’s enagagement was shared on Facebook by Galenzoga’s sister, who gave Rappler the permission to use photos of the couple and gave us additional details on the couple.

Galenzoga’s sister has posted a photo of Malot’s hand sporting an engagement ring on her finger. 

WEDDING BELLS. Marilou "Malot" Galenzoga's engagement ring. Photo by Carlyn Ann Galenzoga

It has been a little over a year since Baligod’s wife, Marilyn Anne Navarro, died of breast cancer in February 2013. They have 4 boys together.

Carlyn Ann Galenzoga, Malot’s sister, said the couple met last year in a party at the house of Malot’s sister, Dayday Dieza, in Quezon City. Baligod is a relative of Malot’s brother-in-law, Conrad Dieza, a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class ’92 who ran for governor of Kalinga in the recent elections.

Courtship did not immediately happen because Malot was then having a difficult mayoral campaign in Baybay.

In the 2013 mid-term elections, Galenzoga challenged incumbent Mayor Carmen Loreto-Cari whose family has ruled Baybay City for more than 4 decades. Galenzoga, who was then 36 years old, fielded herself as the younger alternative to the 76-year-old Cari but lost.

Baligod eventually became part of Malot’s legal team in the sedition cases the Caris filed against her and her supporters, and in the Commission on Election’s decision annulling Cari’s mayorship because the board of canvassers was illegally composed.

Baligod started courting Malot after Super Typhoon Yolanda. Even before the Tacloban City airport resumed operations, he took an alternative route to Leyte – flying from Manila to Cebu, then taking the ferry trip to Hilongos, Leyte, then a 40-minute land trip to Baybay. – Rappler.com

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