A criminal complaint for unjust vexation was filed by Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia against Sarah Teresa Esguerra for disseminating and propagating the message “Bing to be disbarred” through electronic mail and sending them to different media entities on February 21.
The filing of the case was recommended by City Prosecutor Armando Abanado after finding that the offense of light coercion or unjust vexation has been committed by Esguerra and there is reasonable ground to hold her for trial.
“Considering that the offense charged is covered by Section 9, Rule 112 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure, let the information for unjust vexation (Under Art. 287, RPC) be filed with the Municipal Trial Court in Cities together with the complete records of the case in order that the same could be dealt with,” Abanado said.
City Legal Officer Joselito Bayatan yesterday said that until now, the City Mayor’s Office has not received any copy of the disbarment complaint filed by Esguerra, who is identified with the camp of former Bacolod Rep. Monico Puentevella.
Esguerra filed a petition for disbarment against Leonardia with the Supreme Court on February 19 supposedly anchored on what she claimed was a violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility by Leonardia on the issue of illegally moving the celebration of the Charter Day of Bacolod City to June 18. She also lodged a complaint against the Mayor before the Office of the President.
In his accusatory affidavit dated March 7, Leonardia said it is of utmost privacy and a matter of public policy that a disbarment complaint must be kept confidential, based on Rule 139-B Section 18 of the Rules of Court.
He also prayed for the immediate filing of preliminary injunction before the proper court, such that there is no need for the preliminary resort to go through the Lupong Tagapamayapa.
Meanwhile, Esguerra said the Mayor has the right to file a case, as she has the right to do the same. “I will face it and I am not afraid of him since I am a taxpayer,” he said.*CGS