Joy Belmonte on Halalan 2022: Some attacks below the belt

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 13 2022 02:00 PM

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MANILA - Reelected Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said Friday she would continue to push for good governance in Metro Manila's largest city after a very bruising electoral campaign. 

Speaking to ANC's Headstart, Belmonte said 2022 campaign period was "more psychologically damaging than anything else." 

"I could see I was performing well but then the constant barrage and attack on my person--some of them very personal, very below the belt, some of them attacking my gender," she said.

"It got pretty messy. I think the real challenge was to try to stay above this kind of campaign strategy and still do campaign in the level I felt the people of QC deserved."

In March, Belmonte filed a cyberlibel complaint against her opponent, former Anakalusugan Rep. Mike Defensor, who alleged that the city government's pandemic aid was overpriced.

Defensor "deceived the public" who was not knowledgeable in public bidding, Belmonte said.

"It was deception already on his part because he has served in government so I think he understands very well the procurement process. It was about a man being malicious and taking advantage of the lack of knowledge of people with regards to government processes," she said.

"I think it’s no longer in my capacity to drop the charges because we already filed them in the necessary venues. They are being pursued now in the proper forum," she said.

Belmonte, whose father was a stalwart of the Liberal Party, said she keeps an open mind about leading presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.

"I would like to feel and believe that there's hope given that there's such a large majority supporting Mr. Marcos and therefore Mr. Marcos will feel this mandate will probably encourage him to really perform to the best of his ability to uplift the lives of these 31 million people," she said.

"I would just like to be supportive at the moment because I have not seen the programs that would take place...But of course as with any president, I'd always encourage the people of Quezon City to remain vigilant because that is our duty as citizens."

The mayor said the city government was able to collect P22 billion in 2020 despite the pandemic. Quezon City also allotted P20 million for small entrepreneurs and help 25,000 to create their own businesses, she added.

"That shows that with good governance mechanism intact or in place it’s possible really to generate income," she told ANC's Headstart.

"When you have enough funds, you can now implement good projects and programs for recovery."