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Support swells for ousted Rosal couple

By Emmanuel Solis

LEGAZPI CITY --- Some 18,000 turned up at the Albay capitol grounds here over the weekend to show their support for Albay Governor Noel Rosal and his wife, Legazpi City Mayor Geraldine Rosal, who have been ordered disqualified by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for illegal use of campaign funds.

Legazpi City Public Safety Officer Rolly Esguerra said Sunday the supporters, who included Catholic priests, were from various towns and cities.

They were nearly double the estimated 10,000 who showed up during a similar rally on September 26.

Bishop Joel Baylon of the Diocese of Legazpi said the prayer rally was a manifestation of the people’s will, adding that the result of the past elections was not only a simple majority win but an “overwhelming majority” for the Rosal couple.

“We have a role to perform because this has moral components. There are wrong and there are right, there are bad and there are also good, and there are also moral and immoral,” Baylon said in an interview.

Edith Manila, president of the Federation of Senior Citizens of Legazpi and Albay, said the elderly have been regularly receiving cash assistance from the city government even before the election period.

The Comelec First Division disqualified Governor Rosal on September 19 while the Second Division issued the same decision against Mayor Rosal on October 4 for allegedly handing cash assistance inside the 45-day election ban.

The Rosal couple had filed motions for reconsiderations and would elevate the case to the Supreme Court, if necessary.

The disqualification cases against the couple were filed by defeated Legazpi City candidate for councilor, Joseph Armogila.

The Rosals said they would continue to perform their functions pending the final resolutions of the cases. (PNA)

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