CANDABA -- Vice Mayor Normita "Babes" Evangelista assailed several allegations thrown at her by Mayor Rene Maglanque whom she wants to unseat in the 2016 polls.
Evangelista, a former mayor, said that she has continued doing her duty as vice mayor of this town despite Maglanque's action of removing her office's budget.
As a leader of the town council, she said her office is not under the "governance" of the mayor.
"I also have my own people especially that our municipality has three parts, the Kapampangan and Tagalog region. How can I provide public service if I don't have money?" she said.
Evangelista told Sun.Star Pampanga that the Commission on Audit (COA) declared that Republic Act Number 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991 "allows the vice mayor to sign and approve the disbursement vouchers charged against the budget of his office to exercise its legislative functions".
The rift between the two officials stemmed from Maglanque's order directing the vice mayor to present first the Purchase Order or Request for approval to "prevent unnecessary disbursement and expenditures".
"I don't have the power to vote. Taga-bilang lang ako ng boto ng mga council which consist mostly of his kapartido," Evangelista said.
She added that as a vice mayor, she is tasked to "fiscalize" Maglanque's decisions to protect the interest of the people.
"Pinapakita ko lang sa kanya ang magiging resulta ng mga desisyon niya. I am just showing him the bigger picture. We are not opposing, we are just asking which inaayawan niya," she said. "Diktador siya."
The former mayor asserted that she is just fulfilling her vow to the people during the 2013 elections where she ran as Maglanque's vice mayor.
"Inendorso ko siya kasi humingi siya ng tawad sa akin. Naggive way pa ako para siya ang mag-mayor. Pero sinabi ko sa mga tao na kapag siya nagkamali, papayuhan ko siya pero pag makulit ay aaksyon na tayo, she said. "Ako ang nagluklok sa kanya, ako rin ang magbababa sa kanya."
Evangelista said her commitment to herself is to provide public service with transparency and accountability.
"Ayaw ko lang matulad kay Napoles. As public officials dapat we've already learned our lessons from that. Palibhasa siya kasi sanay na [sa kaso]," she said.
Evangelista even cited Maglanque allegedly announced in public that his case has been mitigated from plunder to only graft in connection with the Malampaya case.
"Graft nalang daw, hindi na plunder. Eh pag tinagalog mo ang graft, edi magnanakaw pa din. Mas mababa lang ang halaga. Inaamin niya mismo sa sarili niya at sa tao magnanakaw siya," Evangelista said.
"A person without credibility, he cannot be a leader anymore," she added. "Hindi ko na siya dapat siraan. His actions and words will speak for himself."
Evangelista at the same time, supported her claim that Maglanque is a dictator, citing the controversial Puregold investment that allegedly did not undergo public consultation.
She added that Maglanque did not disburse the intended budget for the new two-storey community hospital.
"Inaapura niya ang mga proyekto para mabilis siyang makakuha ng pera kasi alam niya na matatanggal siya sa pwesto. Wala siyang pambayad sa mga legal fees ng mga kasong hinaharap at kakaharapin niya," she stressed.
Evangelista meanwhile disclosed that this will be her last political fight as she don't want to allot her remaining years in politics.
"Pwede naman akong tumulong na walang pulitika. Huli ko na ito. Kung hindi man ako manalo, at least inilaban ko para sa mga tao sa Candaba," she said.
She also reminded Maglanque to stop doing "dirty politics" because that is not a trait of a true Candabeño.
"Walang sindakan, walang takutan, pairalin natin ang pagmamahal para sa bayan," she said. "Pareho lang naman tayong maraming nagawa. Let's just all work for the common good of the people and accept what will be their decision."