Legarda’s bro used her initials in bid to replace her in Congress
ILOILO CITY — A resident of Bugasong town in Antique is asking the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to disqualify the brother of former senator and incumbent Antique Rep. Loren Legarda for causing confusion and “making a mockery” of the electoral process.
In a seven-page petition, Salvador Ungsod requested the poll body to declare Antonio Agapito “AA” Legarda Jr. a nuisance candidate and to deny or cancel his certificate of candidacy.
Antonio was being questioned for adopting a nickname that of his sister Loren.
Antonio is among the four candidates running for representative of Antique’s lone congressional district to replace the congresswoman who is again running for senator after a single three-year term.
Antonio, who is a candidate of the Nationalist People’s Coalition, is running against former Integrated Bar of the Philippines national president Abdiel Dan Elijah “Ade” Fajardo (Liberal Party), former representative Paolo Everardo Javier (PDP-Laban), and Joel Javier Sr. (PDP-Laban).
The INQUIRER last Thursday spoke by phone to a close-in staff member of Antonio Agapito Legarda Jr. and sought his reaction to the petition against his candidacy. The staff member said they are planning to release a statement but did not state when. No statement has been issued as of Tuesday morning.
The petition, which was filed on Ungsod’s behalf by lawyer Marlon Anthony Tonson on October 13, cited the certified list of candidates of Antique which showed that Antonio’s name that would appear in the ballot is: “Legarda, AA ‘Inday Loren’.”
Inday Loren is the nickname adopted by the former senator when she ran for office in 2019 and won by a landslide.
She is also known to Antiqueños by such a name.
“Inday” is a Visayan term of endearment for a daughter, sister, or young girl.
A son, brother or boy are usually called “Toto” or “Nonoy,” especially among Ilonggos.
Antonio should be declared a nuisance candidate because he allegedly violated Section 69 of the Omnibus Election Code by making a “mockery of the election process,” according to the petition.
It said it also violates Comelec Resolution 10717 which prohibits a candidate from using the nickname or stage of another.
“…Other than being the brother of (Representative Legarda), (he) is unknown in the political scene with no prior political experience as an elective official in Antique,” Ungsod said in his petition.
He said the use of “Inday Loren” as Antonio’s nickname or stage name is “obviously intended to deceive and confuse the voters to make it appear that his sister is running for reelection as Antique representative.”
“(Antonio’s) deliberate act of misleading the voters will only prevent the determination of the true will of the electorate as they would be led to think that it is (Legarda) who is seeking reelection. It becomes obvious that (Antonio) is merely using the popularity of his sister despite knowledge that election to public office means the presentation of his personal merits to the electorate,” according to the petition.
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