MANILA -- Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte on Monday slammed an opponent for the city's top post who accused her of "incompetence."
Cong. Vincent "Bingbong" Crisologo, a challenger to Belmonte's mayoral run, claimed that the vice mayor does not make rounds to talk with constituents and has not proposed any ordinance.
He also questioned her competency over supposed delays in the announcement of class suspension. "If she's competent, magdesisyon na kung may pasok o wala 'pag bumagyo, she cannot decide," Crisologo said in an interview on ANC's "Headstart."
Belmonte, sometime in 2017, came under fire for initially not suspending classes in the city despite the heavy monsoon rain. Mayor Herbert Bautista was reportedly in Japan during the incident.
The vice mayor said it was "foolish" of Crisologo to make the suspension of classes an election issue.
The lawmaker, she said, appears to be "unaware" that the cancellation of classes when there is no storm is a collective decision of the local disaster council that relies on a report by state weather bureau PAGASA, which experts said is only 70 percent accurate.
"He (Crisologo) has much to learn about governance," she said in a text message to ABS-CBN News.
The allegation that she does not talk to her constituents "is an utter and complete lie," she added.
"What I do not do is spend all the time--which should be used working--going to wakes. He doesn't pass bills in Congress, participate in discussions [because] he is always asleep having gone to wakes all night. That is not my definition of participatory governance," Belmonte said.
Crisologo, in his ANC interview, also claimed that "Bistekville," Quezon City's socialized housing project for informal settlers, is rife with corruption.
"In Bistekville, somebody's making money, whoever owns the corporation. I won't mention names, but it's also city officials who own the corporations, but it will be the city that will manage it," he said.
Mayor Bautista, he said, has not received kickbacks from the project but that "his name is just being used."
Belmonte said she has "nothing to do with Bistekville," but that it is "not a corporation."
"It is the housing program of the city. It has won the Mayor many awards," she said.
The vice mayor challenged Crisologo to take the issue to court if he can back his corruption allegation with evidence.
"It is very irresponsible to make accusatory statements, not buttressed by evidence, on national TV," she said.
Belmonte also said she and 2 councilors have proposed in-city resettlement for illegal settlers.
"We intend to change the Bistekville model or at least amend it so that our housing projects will contain more choices for our people, will be more affordable and more and akin to their needs," she said.