MANILA - A mayor in Camarines Norte province who was seen in a viral video cursing at members of a provincial government task force claimed Thursday that he was only defending his "oppressed" town.
Capalonga Mayor Senandro Jalgalado was leading municipal government workers in collecting gravel from the river when their truck was apprehended for alleged illegal quarrying by the task force of Camarines Norte Governor Edgardo Tallado.
Jalgalado then yelled and cursed at the provincial government workers, as seen in a Facebook video that has racked half a million views.
"Upakan mo na nga 'to, bugbugin n'yo na nga (hit them already, beat them)," he shouted, apparently referring to the task force.
Jalgalado however said he ordered town workers to collect gravel from the river to cover 2 major roads in Capalonga that were damaged by a storm last Christmas.
Tallado, he said, allegedly made no action on his request for the provincial government to fix the roads.
The provincial government also impounded a truck used by the Capalonga government in an attempt to collect gravel in January, he told radio DZMM.
"Ang ipinagmumura ko po at ang ipinagtatapang ko po ay hindi po sa pag-aabuso kundi ipinagtatanggol ko lang naman po ang aking bayan," he said.
(My cursing and posturing were not an abuse. I was only defending my town.)
"Ang tingin ko po sa aking bayan ay aping-api naman. Imbes na iyung gobernador ay tulungan ay piniperwisyo at naka-impound pa po ang trak sa munisipyo," he said.
(I think my town has been badly oppressed. Instead of being helped by the governor, we are being harassed and our truck was even impounded.)
The mayor said he has a long-running spat with Tallado, one cause of which was supposedly his rejection of jueteng or illegal gambling operations in his town.
Tallado, he claimed, attempted to have him suspended last year but the move was blocked by a court. The mayor did not elaborate on his supposed preventive suspension.
He also said the man who took the video recently violated the gun ban but is being coddled by a top provincial official.
Tallado made headlines in 2014 after videos and photos of him with his alleged mistress were released and circulated on the internet.
He faced a graft case 3 years later for the unlawful removal of a provincial employee.