Comelec disqualifies Legazpi councilor


The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Second Division has disqualified Legazpi City Councilor Al Barizo from running in the 2022 national and local elections, COMELEC Spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco announced Tuesday.

“Barizo, who was an incumbent Councilor at the time of the commission of the offense, was found liable under Section 261(v)(2) in relation to Section 68(e) of the Omnibus Elections Code (OEC), which prohibits the release, disbursement or expenditure of public funds by a public official or employee forty-five days before election day,” Laudiangco said.

The lawyer cited the case concerns the March 31, 2022 Facebook post of Bariza which showed that “he and other candidates participated in a 2-Day Tricycle Driver’s Cash Assistance Payout activity during the prohibited period.”

“Barizo admitted having participated in the activity, arguing that the same was only a continuation of the cash assistance batches commenced prior to the prohibited period, but denied having knowledge of the Facebook post by a Page which he claimed not to personally manage,” the COMELEC spokesperson said.

However, Laudiangco said the COMELEC Second Division pointed out “Barizo was then heading or was a member of the Committee on Public Utilities and Energy (Transportation), in which capacity he had the ‘wherewhital and impetus to push for the cash dole-out intended for the tricycle drivers’.”

Also, the Second Division indicated that Barizo was an incumbent councilor and was “in a position to influence local legislation to favor the transportation sector.”

“In holding Barizo liable under Section 261(v)(2) in relation to Section 68€ of the OEC, it stated that ‘even if he is not proven to have a hand in the illegal release or disbursement of public funds during the prohibited period, he surely was a prominent figure in the expenditure of those funds when those were handed out to the tricycle driver-beneficiaries’,” Laudiangco said.

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