Videos showing Siquijor town mayor’s ‘abuses’ go viral in social media
CEBU CITY — Two videos showing a town mayor of Siquijor province making a scene in public have gone viral since these were uploaded on social media.
One showed Lazi Mayor James Duhaylungsod Monte driving a white Toyota Hilux and hitting a column of a public market.
Another video showed Monte getting down from his vehicle and confronting Tashi Joemar Zangpo, a visitor of the municipality who claimed that he was mauled by the mayor’s companion.
When reached for comment, Monte denied mauling Zangpo but admitted ramming his vehicle into a table in the public market out of frustration upon seeing illegally parked vehicles.
He claimed that the videos were merely used by his political opponents.
Monte pointed out that Zangpo was a visitor of his cousin – Provincial Board Member Noel Monte, a member of the Liberal Party.
Monte ran as an independent candidate although he was associated with the United Nationalist Alliance.
Incidentally, Noel uploaded a second video that showed Monte getting down the vehicle and confronting Zangpo.
The video did not show Monte’s companions mauling Zangpo.
Zangpo’s video showed a speeding white Toyota Hilux which hit what looked like a column of the public market in Barangay Tigbawan, Lazi town.
A man wearing a white shirt came to the vehicle but the driver, who turned to be Monte, sped off.
Zangpo’s video had drawn more than 100,000 views since it was uploaded on FaceBook on Feb. 19.
Its caption read: “Mayor ng Bayan Lazi Siquijor nagwawala ng sasakyan at nag juramentado, sobrang bilis ng takbo niya, nakakatakot dahil maaring makapatay siya sa bilis ng takbo niya. Sinugod niya ako at gusto kunin ang cellphone ko, sobrang galit niya na kwelyuhan niya ako, ng aking tinangal kamay niya dun sana lumaban na ako ng biglang nasampal ako sa likod ng mga kasamahan niya Sinaktan, pinagsisipa at sinampal pa ako dahil sa pagkuha ko ng Video sa pangyayari at pinagtulungan pa ako ng mga tauhan niya. Hanggang ngayun nasa harap pa siya ng bahay ng kaibigan ko, na parang walang nangyari. Sana makarating ito sa kinauukulan.”
(Mayor of Lazi town was driving fast and went berserk. He drove so fast that it was scary because he might kill someone with the speed he was driving. He confronted me and wanted to get my cellphone. He got so mad that he collared me. When I removed his hand and was about to fight back, his companion hit me from behind. I was hit, relentlessly kicked and slapped by his companions because I took a video of the incident. Until now, he (the mayor) was still in front of my friend’s house, as if nothing happened. I hope this (the video) can reach the attention of government agencies.)”
Zangpo used the hashtag #HeartWalk #SiquijorPH.
His video drew over 100,000 views.
The second video by Noel Monte drew more than 10,000 views.
SPO2 Christino Bandico, team leader of the investigating team, confirmed that Mayor Monte drove the vehicle.
“He even accidentally hit a parked motorcycle,” Bandico said in a phone interview with Philippine Daily Inquirer.
The motorcycle (with no plate number) was owned by Luciano Calunod, 80, a resident of Barangay Gabayan, Lazi town.
Bandico said Monte was not arrested.
Mayor Monte explained that what happened was an accident and that he was not drunk.
He stepped on the wrong pedal of his Toyota Hilux (plate number (FGW119), causing him to hit a column of the public market and a motorcycle.
In a statement released on Monday, Monte said he went around the town to check if the owners of vehicles made good of their promise not to park along the road again.
Frustrated to find the road filled again with parked vehicles, he drove around the public market.
“And that is where the video caught me,” he said.
“If I were for violence I could have rammed into the illegally parked vechicles outside the road leading to the public market or chose to hit people at the height of anger. I did not but instead thrust my vehicle against a table laid out at the side of the public market. It was a table of one market vendors that was not supposed to be there as it was blocking the stairs to where the goods are sold,” it added.
Monte said he only did that to discipline his constituents to observe the law and denied mauling Zangpo since he was alone at that time.
In his FaceBook post, Zangpo maintained that he was mauled.
“Kaya pa kita patawarin at palampasin Mayor ng Lazi Siquijor sa mga ginawa mung power trip mung kalukohan kagabi, ngunit sa ginawa mo sa harap ng taumbayan mo di nila makakalimutan itong paninira at panggugulo mo. Mas nanaisin ko pa marinig iyung patawad sa harap ng maraming taumbayan mo, kaysa pag hingi mo ng tawad sa akin. Dahil ako bisita lamang po ako sa lugar niyo. And never tell to others na nagka settle na tayo, masama din ang pagsisinungaling dahil tanda yan nang pagtatraydor mo sa sarili at sa bayan mo.” (I can forgive and let it pass, Mayor of Lazi Siquijor, your power-tripping last night. But what you did in front of your constituents, they can’t forget the damage you’ve caused. I would rather hear you ask forgiveness to your constituents rather than asking sorry from me because I am just a visitor of your place.)”
He used the hashtag #SiquijorPH #mayorrecklessdriver #heartwalk.
The following are the links to the videos showing the incidents involving Mayor Monte:
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