Malolos City–The eagle has beaten the scorpion, at least in a survey on social media over who should be the next governor of Bulacan province
Two out of three respondents in a survey conducted by MetroNEWS picked Malolos Mayor Christian Natividad, who is billed as the “Agila ng Bulacan,” over incumbent Vice Governor Daniel Fernando, who is known as “Scorpio” over his famous role in the movie “Scorpion Nights” in the mid-1980s.
MetroNEWS, the oldest Malolos-based English weekly in the province, drew 4,871 respondents for its survey posted on Facebook.
Fernando, the former actor, hopes to succeed Governor Willie Sy-Alvarado, but his chances to win in the May 2019 polls look dim this early against the three-term mayor of this city.
This developed as Natividad announced the filing of a P5.6-million damage suit against the “Gawad Amerika Awards Night” organization and Joey Sarmiento, the event’s Philippine’ director for operations who is reputedly a godson of the vice governor.
In a press conference, Natividad lambasted Sarmiento of the United States-based award-giving body for declaring as null and void an award and trophy the mayor personally received from GAA at the Hollywood Center in Los Angeles, California last August 18.
“As a lawyer, I need to defend my name, integrity and public track performance from malicious insinuation that I received a fake or bogus award,” he said.
Natividad said he did not solicit the award but it was voluntarily given to him through GAA chairman Alfredo Yumul thru a letter-invitation dated June 27, 2018, saying he was chosen as an awardee as “Most Outstanding Mayor of the Philippines for 2018.”
“I am a victim here of a demolition job, which is apparently politically motivated. On October 18, a day after I filed my COC [certificate of candidacy] as governor of Bulacan, I received a letter from Sarmiento informing me that the GAA ‘certificate of recognition’ (sic) was null and void,” he said.
Sarmiento could not be contacted for comment as of press time.
Earlier this week, Natividad was ridiculed on social media and bashed as “dishonest” for receiving the supposedly fake award. At least five Facebook accounts have been circulating among Bulacan social groups spreading smear and black propaganda against him, the mayor said.
Lawyer Jolette Fajardo, the mayor’s legal counsel, said: “The unilateral declaration of the award as ‘null and void’ by the Philippine director of GAA deprived my client of basic due process considering there was no complaint or objection raised when Natividad was given the award in the US.”
Attached to Natividad’s P5.6-million damage suit docketed as Civil Case No. 495-M-2018 were an invitation letter from Gawad Amerika; Authority to Travel issued by the governor of Bulacan; photos and videos taken during the event in Hollywood Center, USA; copy of the award; an a photo of a video clip of co-awardee Lars Santiago of GMA7 taken during the awards night.
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