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Naga’s mayoral race: Tato denies buying votes

By Zyra Ponce

Naga City mayoral candidate Fortunato “Tato” P. Mendoza denied during the Mayoral Debate 2022 at Plaza Quezon held last Saturday, April 23, accusations that he is giving away P1,000 each to individuals to buy their votes during the May 9 national and local elections.

Radio reports and social media posts showed many people queuing for several days outside Mendoza’s house in front of the Coca-Cola Bottling Plant along Concepcion Pequena in the city.

The accusations of vote-buying cropped up because of the heavy vehicular traffic in the area caused by the long line of people going inside Mendoza’s residence.

Mendoza clarified that the people lining up outside his house were there to attend the voter’s education trainings for his poll watchers.

“Yan po pigtutukduan mi kung pano talaga mag boto ta pag dae ta po tinukduan ang nangyayari po sarala…Kung igwa man po kaming tigtatao na allowance, kwarta ko po yan,” Mendoza said.

The other mayoral candidates who attended the debate were Atty. John Bongat, Tato and Manny Morano. In his social media post, Mayor Nelson Legacion, who is running for reelection, said he did not attend the event as he was with his mother who is sick.

Meanwhile, in the debate, Bongat said he will give priority to the people by providing medical services and livelihood center to every barangay in the city. He added that if elected mayor, he will transform the City College of Naga into a university to offer accessible free tertiary education to Naguenos.

On the part of Mendoza, he said that he believed that the city will be more progressive if the students are enrolled in good schools such as University of Nueva Caceres, Ateneo de Naga University, Naga College Foundation, and other prestigious schools. He also vowed to write off the unpaid obligations of urban poor housing lot awardees. He also stated that he is against the privatization of the local water district.

Morano, for his part, promised Naga voters that if he is elected, he will establish 24/7 food stations, which will prioritize the food security of the Naguenos. He also said that he will work to find alternative power sources for the city such as wind and hydropower energy. He added he will also initiate revisions to the ranking system of the teachers for the benefits of teachers in the city.


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