2 Climacos file poll case vs 2 Lobregats PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 04 May 2013 11:43

A complaint for violation of the Omnibus Election Code was filed yesterday with the Comelec regional office against Mayor Celso Lobregat, who is now running for congressman in the city’s first district and his brother Jomar, also a candidate for congressman in the second district, by two other aspirants for the same position in their respective district, Atty. Abelardo “Tonggo” Climaco, Jr. and Dr. Cesar “Juni” Climaco, Jr.

Atty. Climaco is running against Jomar Lobregat and three other bets in District 2 while Dr. Climaco is one of the four congressional aspirants in District 1. Though the petitioners have the same family name, they are not related by blood or affinity.

Atty. Climaco was the former Zamboanga City vice mayor while Dr. Climaco is the eldest son of the late mayor Cesar C. Climaco.

In their affidavit of complaint which was officially received yesterday afternoon by the Comelec Regional Office, the petitioners cited some alleged flagrant violations that the Lobregat brothers have committed during the campaign period.

Equipped with photographs that serve as evidence, Tongo and Junie alleged that the Lobregat brothers have utilized and propagated a campaign slogan known as Adelante Zamaboanga or ADEZ for their political interest.

ADEZ, which was founded by Jomar Lobregat, was a non-government organization composed of members coming from the different sectors including politicians but was later registered as a local political party.

In their complaint, petitioners said  that after its creation, the city government under the administration of Mayor Lobregat has used it as the city’s slogan or battlecry for fast development.

However, they said, Mayor Lobregat with the support of his brother Jomar, used the same slogan in all city funded projects.

According to the two Climacos, they noticed at least two government funded projects with the inscription in prominent and bold letters of their campaign slogan “ADELANTE ZAMBOANGA.”

One of the said projects is an elementary school building in Barangay St. Maria and another a concrete foot bridge connecting Barangays Rio Hondo and Mariki as shown in the pictures which were attached in the petition  filed before the Comelec yesterday.

“These projects were accomplished using government funds from taxpayers’ money and yet the Lobregat brothers caused the inscription of their campaign slogan “ADELANTE ZAMBOANGA” with no other obvious intention but to promote and advance their political interest,” the petitioners said in their complaint.

In a hastily called press conference yesterday, Atty. Climaco said that Mayor Lobregat’s intention to utilize government funded projects as political campaign propaganda has become even more audacious by his recent act of using his initials “CL” in the guise of aesthetics in his newly accomplished projects such as the convention center located at Paseo del Mar.

Another of such similar acts of using government funded paraphernalia for alleged political propaganda purposes, Atty. Climaco said, is the engraving of the mayor’s picture in all City Hall issued business permits.

Despite the Comelec resolution, the two Climacos said that respondents never removed those alleged questionable materials but instead continuously use those for their political interest.

“The two brothers will have sleepless nights starting tonight. We are asking Comelec now to persecute them for flagrant violations of the Omnibus Election Code,” Atty. Climaco said.

Section 261 of Article XXII Paragraph (O) of the Omnibus Election Code  states: “Any person who uses under any guise whatsoever, directly  or indirectly, (1) public funds or money deposited with, or held in trust by, public financing institution or by government offices, banks or agencies and  or any equipment, vehicle, facility apparatus, or paraphernalia owned by the government or by its political sub-divisions, agencies including government owned or controlled corporations for any election campaign or for any partisan political activity” is strictly prohibited and shall be guilty of an election offense.

“The school building in Sta. Maria, the concrete foot bridge in Rio Hondo connecting Mariki, the convention center at Paseo del Mar and the Business Permits are government facilities being used by the Lobregats for political campaign propaganda which are clear violation of the law and could be a ground for disqualification as candidates,” Atty. Climaco said.

“If Comelec here will not take any action of our complaints, I for myself as a lawyer, will run after them,” Atty. Climaco warned. — Jimmy Villaflores