“This is her kind of politics.”
The movement to unseat Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte is fast gaining momentum and has even struck a lethal blow against the incumbent mayor as majority of the city hall employees have expressly rejected her.
If it would have been made into a movie, the particular scene would be similar to that of the Cry of Pugad Lawin when Katipuneros tore their cedulas as a symbol of their rejection of the Spanish rule and enjoined people in a revolt to end the colonial rule.
This time, it would be Quezon City Hall employees coming out in the open, calling on the residents of the country’s premier city to end the decades-long rule of the Belmontes.
In a secret balloting conducted among the City Government’s 400 employees, it was revealed that only 30 percent or 120 still favor the incumbent mayor while 70 percent or 280, are rooting for Anakalusugan Rep. Michael “Mike” Defensor. What is ironic is that most of these employees were hired during the incumbency of her father, Sonny Belmonte and during her time.
Actually, Edwin Rodriguez, president of Malayang Quezon City, the local political party pushing for Defensor’s candidacy, bared that many City Hall employees have been meeting with them, and pledging support for Mike’s mayoralty run. One of them is Mon Matabang, head of one of the departments in Quezon City Hall.
According to Rodriguez, many of Quezon City Hall employees have been complaining for being placed under preventive suspension for the simple reason they are identified with former Mayor Herbert Bautista. Bautista is supporting Defensor’s candidacy.
“Mr. Matabang is coordinating with our office on how to assist these employees,” said Rodriguez.
Rodriguez adds it is not only those who are identified with Bautista who have shifted support from Belmonte to Defensor as many of them are from Belmonte’s camp.
“There is a massive outpouring of support for Congressman Mike coming even from her own camp,” said Rodriguez.
“Who would have furnished us with documents baring large-scale overpricing of ayuda groceries if not for employees identified with her?” Rodriguez said. “Not only the Quezon City residents are tired of her but even the Quezon City employees who had served her administration for the past three years.”
“Maiba naman,” seems to be the battlecry of the Quezon City Hall employees.
Actually, Belmonte should have seen it coming. At the height of the pandemic in 2020, videos on her house-to-house campaign to personally deliver ayuda to QC residents were leaked on social media. Among those were videos showing a “director” giving her the cue to start acting in front of the camera as she hands a bag of groceries to a house owner.
Another video showed her picking a well-gated house as recipient of a grocery bag, skipping shanties along the way. And a lot more video revealing the negative side of her response to the pandemic.
And who would have leaked these videos other than members of her closed-in staff?
Now, Joy Belmonte is just reaping what she has sown. People are now openly protesting her brand of governance and this has further revealed her kind of leadership. One which willingly sells her principle just to gain support. She has been said to be supporting Leni Robredo in one instance and then shifting to Partido Federal ng Pilipinas standard bearer, former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong’ Marcos, Jr. in the next moment. This even as Marcos has personally endorsed the candidacy of Defensor as his mayoralty bet in Quezon City.
Such is the kind of politics Belmonte employs. Fortunately, Defensor and Malayang Quezon City are on the verge of liberating this city from her suffocating hold.