By Tara Yap
ILOILO CITY—Mayor Evelio “Bing” Leonardia of Bacolod City has expressed gratitude to President Rodrigo Duterte for clearing his name in the alleged list of narco politicians.
“I am truly humbled by the President’s gesture. This is unexpected but truly welcome,” said Leonardia in a statement.
Last Thursday, Duterte’s official Facebook page released a video wherein Duterte admonished Monico Puentevella, a former Bacolod City mayor and congressional representative.
Duterte slammed Puentevella, who is running for congressman, for intentionally twisting his words to attack Leonardia, a longtime political nemesis.
Duterte accused Puentevella of having “spliced” and “mixed up” his words during a political rally of the administration’s PDP-Laban in Victorias City earlier this month. The doctored speech made it appear that Leonardia is included in the narco-list.
“In his consuming desire to destroy me, Puentevella unwittingly subjected no less than the President to his fraudulent ways,” Leonarida noted.
“I have long endured the lies of Puentevella and his never-ending attempts to assassinate my character. Now, the President himself vindicated me. There is no better proof of Puentevella’s genius and [lack of conscience] than this,” Leonardia emphasized.
Leonardia also thanked Duterte for endorsing his bid for reelection as Bacolod City mayor.
Leonardia is set to face former Bacolod City councilor Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, who is an ally of Puentevella.