Docket fee paid by DBP loan complainants insufficient, says Leonardia’s lawyer


The lawyer of Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia questioned the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 44 to hear the case filed against his client and 17 other respondents in connection with the city government’s P1.7-billion loan from the Development Bank of the Philippines.

In a Panay News article, City Legal Officer Joselito Bayatan pointed out that the docket fee the complainants paid was not enough.

The complainants should have paid “millions” instead of only P7,000 because their case involves a billion-peso loan, according to Bayatan.

The abogado also said the RTC rescheduled the February 13 hearing to give the respondents five days to file a proper motion.

In may be recalled that former vice mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson, former councilor Jocelle Batapa-Sigue, and businessman Antonio Wong filed the civil complaint against Leonardia and others.

In their January 18 complaint, Sayson, Batapa-Sigue, and Wong claimed that no proper public hearing was conducted regarding the loan contract.

The loan was supposed to fund the four flagship projects of the Leonardia administration, namely the P350-million development of the Progreso Village Relocation Site, P350-million development of the Bacolod City College, P800-million construction of the Bacolod MassKara Coliseum, and the P200-million road and bridge construction program.

Aside from the mayor, other accused were
Vice Mayor El Cid Familiaran; Councilors Caesar Distrito, Cindy Rojas, Renecito Novero, Em Ang, Elmer Sy, Ana Marie Palermo, Dindo Ramos, Bartolome Orola, Sonya Verdeflor, Lady Gles Gonzale-Pallen, and Ayesha Joy Villaflor; City Council Secretary Vicente Petierre III; City Treasurer Giovanni Balalilhe; City Budget Officer Maria Imelda Williams; City Accountant Corazon Cardel; and DBP-Negros Occidental Lending Center head Bernardo Catillion Jr.