CDO mayor’s main antagonist calls it quits, seeks reconciliation

Bobby Lagsa

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CDO mayor’s main antagonist calls it quits, seeks reconciliation
Businessman William Guialani gives up after cases he filed against Cagayan de Oro Mayor Oscar Moreno are dismissed by the Court Of Appeals and the Comelec

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – Mayor Oscar Moreno’s number one accuser has called it quits after two of the cases he filed against Moreno were turned down by the Court of Appeals and the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Former Barangay Taglimao chairperson and businessman William Guialani filed numerous cases against Moreno and his top department executives, city treasurer Dr. Glenn Banez, city accountant Beda Joy Elot, and city budget officer Percy Salazar.

Guialani also filed a petition against Moreno after the 2016 elections, on the basis of the Office of the Ombudsman’s decision to dismiss and bar Moreno from public office for grave misconduct.

Guialani argued that Moreno was not qualified to seek reelection in May 2016 because the Ombudsman had ordered Moreno dismissed and perpetually disqualified from government in August 2015.

The case was filed by Guialani, but earlier this month, the Court of Appeals revoked the case.

In a ruling dated October 13, the appellate court said that since the tax settlement agreement emanating from the case filed by Ajinomoto Philippines Corporation “had been declared by the court to be not contrary to law, public policy and public morals,” there could have been no case for the Ombudsman to start with.

The Ajinomoto case was filed before the Regional Trial Court of Cagayan de Oro to review the P2.9 million tax assessment from 2006 to 2012.

In a September 29, 2016 resolution, the Comelec’s 1st division also said it did not find any merit to Guialani’s election petition against Moreno.

“After careful consideration of the facts of the case, as well as the law and jurisprudence applicable, hereto, we deny the instant petition,” the Comelec said in a resolution signed by Commissioners Christian Robert Lim, Luie Guia and Maria Rowena Guanzon.

Guialani told reporters here he is waving the white flag and will not pursue the case against Moreno anymore since there is no more new evidence that he could present to the court.

This was a different tune from last week, when he said he would go all the way up to the Supreme Court to oust Moreno.

“I am tired and have lost all the backing of the people who supported me,” Guialani said.

Guialani even told local newspaper Mindanao Goldstar Daily that he would seek an audience with Moreno, who is in Vienna, Austria right now.

“I was left behind by the people who I expected to help me,” Guialani told the paper.

Guialani said that he would be seeking a fresh start in Canada, but that would remain to be seen as he has rape and estafa cases pending in court.

In a text message sent to reporters, Moreno said, “It was very obvious that the disqualification case filed with the Comelec had no legal or cogent reason in the first place. Nonetheless, they still proceeded with it, and endeavored to becloud the people’s will. It was plainly the result of a wild illusion, and an unmitigated disrespect – and desperate attempt to weaken the legitimacy – of a democratic process.”

“I thank the Comelec for reaffirming the rule of law, and for heeding the clear voice of the sovereign people, expressed overwhelmingly in a fair, clean and honest election. Vox populi, Vox Dei!” he added. –

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