Joy Belmonte: ‘Duterte prefers me over Bing Bong’
MANILA, Philippines — Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte on Thursday asserted that President Rodrigo Duterte favors her mayoralty candidacy over her rival, Rep. Vincent “Bing Bong” Crisologo.
In an interview with the Inquirer in Makati City, Belmonte was asked about Duterte’s endorsement of her mayoralty bid despite the candidacy of Crisologo, who is PDP-Laban’s Quezon City Council president.
Duterte is the chairman of the ruling PDP-Laban party.
“I really don’t know what goes on in his head on why he is not endorsing all the PDPs [Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan]… I don’t know the reason but I know that he prefers me over BingBong,” said Belmonte, who is running under Serbisyo ng Bayan party, which is allied with administration-backed Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) party founded by presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
According to Belmonte, Duterte raised her hand during a visit in Malacañang as well as the hand of running mate, Quezon City Councilor Gian Sotto.
Belmonte is the daughter of former House Speaker and Quezon City Mayor Sonny Belmonte while Sotto is a son of Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III.
“I made an appointment in Malacañang and he accepted my appointment, and then my dad and Senator Sotto came with me and Gian, and he officially raised our hands in front of the Malacañang seal,” she recalled.
Belmonte further said even the presidential daughter endorsed her candidacy after organizing HNP’s campaign sortie in Quezon City.
“I don’t think that his daughter will be all out also. Because I recently organized a rally in Quezon City… Happy naman siya. With that I think ‘di naman siya magsu-support sa amin sa Quezon City in that way,” she also said.
Belmonte described Crisologo’s style of campaigning and leadership as mainly black propaganda. She cited how Crisologo used the killing of village chair Criselle “Beng” Beltran for political advantage.
“His style is very black propaganda, it is very traditional,” she said. “He had jump to this opportunity to use in his political agenda, and so he started a massive campaign that I have murdered the punong barangay (village chair).”
Last January, four unidentified assailants aboard motorcycles killed Beltran and her driver Melchor Salita in an amush along J.P. Rizal Street in Barangay Bagong Silangan, Quezon City.
Beltran and her driver were declared dead on arrival in separate hospitals while four of their companions were wounded.
Belmonte shared that Beltran’s family barred her from visiting the village leader’s wake. She said Crisologo is “very good with brainwashing” people’s minds.
“It had an effect on me in her barangay (as) her family told me to not visit her wake. He (Crisologo) is very good with brainwashing techniques,” she said. /kga
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