IN A historical move, three former mayors of Sto. Tomas town formed an alliance to support the bid of Team Totoong Higit led by mayoralty bet incumbent Vice-Mayor Gloria “Ninang” Ronquillo.
Former mayors Lucas Arceo, Romy “Ninong” Ronquillo and Lito Naguit showed their full support during the opening salvo of the group as they joined hands in the bid to unseat first termer Mayor Johnny Sambo.
The three former local chief executives, who once fought head-to-head for the mayoralty post, unanimously expressed dissatisfaction with the three-year leadership stint of Sambo in their hometown.
Arceo, who fielded his son, former vice-mayor Mark Louie Arceo for councilor, alleged that Sambo has been disrespecting his fellow elected local officials and the people of Sto. Tomas.
The older Arceo said Sambo disrespected the Local Government Code and the people of Sto. Tomas when he forced the sudden relocation of the Sangguniang Bayan members upon assuming his post in July 2016.
“He forgot that he was dealing with fellow elected officials. Just like him, they were voted by the people and that move not only disrespected the vice-mayor and councilors, but also the people who elected them in the same manner he was,” he said.
Naguit, the first and only three-termer mayor of this town and the brother of Team Totoong Higit’s vice-mayoralty bet Jhong Naguit, said that he was ready to put his political career to rest if only Sambo delivered on his promise to serve the people of Sto. Tomas.
“He focused more on infrastructure projects and forgot about the basic social services needed by Tomasians. We still have a number of indigent Tomasians who need assistance from the local government but they received nothing,” he alleged.
Naguit furthered: “I cannot understand what the incumbent mayor (Sambo) has against us. Mayors Lucas Arceo and Ninong Ronquillo have long decided to stop running for mayor but he continued attacking us personally.”
Two-termer Mayor Ronquillo, who is the husband of Gloria, meanwhile urged Tomasians to rally behind Team Totoong Higit and elect the group’s candidates whose hearts are really into providing true and quality public service.
“Let us exercise our rights to vote properly by electing the candidates you think are deserving of your votes. Let us be united in developing our hometown Sto. Tomas,” he said.
Also running for councilor under Team Totoong Higit are Angel David, Engelbert Euperio, Fidel Calma, Meriam Bonete Garcia, Josefina Pangilanan, Melanio Nuqui and Danilo Anicete.