Bacolod Vice Mayor Jude Thaddeus Sayson yesterday said it is up to the family of businessman Andres Leonardia to decide on how to fill his slot as candidate for councilor under the Nationalist People’s Coalition-Grupo Progreso that has been left vacant with his death.
Andres “Andy” Leonardia, the elder brother of Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia, died at his house in Fortuna Subdivision, Silay City, Negros Occidental, Saturday.
Sayson said they will just wait for the family’s decision after they have laid to rest the cremated remains of Andy Leonardia, who had filed his certificate of candidacy for councilor under the NPC Grupo Progreso last year.
Maybe they will then discuss the matter, he said, adding that according to election laws, a candidate can be replaced by a family member as long as they have the same family name.
Bacolod Election Officer Mavil Majarucon-Sia said Section 15 of COMELEC Resolution No. 9518 provides that the substitute for the candidate, who died or has been disqualified, may file his or her certificate of candidacy up to midday of election day, provided that the substitute and the substituted have the same surname.
Majarucon-Sia said the substitute should also obtain a certificate of Nomination and Acceptance from the NPC.
Meanwhile, Sayson said the loss of Andy Leonardia has affected the members of Group Progreso since they had been attending several functions together for almost three months already.
“We believe that with so many months left yet in the campaign period, he had a very good chance of making it to the top 12,” he said.
They are just praying for the repose of his soul and hope that he is now with the Lord, Sayson said.
His internment will be at Silay City Catholic Cemetery after an 8 a.m. mass today at the San Diego Pro Cathedral.*CGS