Santo Tomas Mayor Ernesto Evangelista on Wednesday, November 24, ‘gatecrashed’ a committee hearing of the Sangguniang Bayan to confront a councilor he accused of backstabbing.
The unvited Evangelista joned the hearing by the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources that stemmed from an earlier privilege speech at the SB by Councilor Cromwell Cocamas wherein he accused the Evangelista administration of ,among others, corruption in the collection of taxes from quarry operators.
Before facing off with Cocamas, Evangelista told the councilors that he is in the hearing to explain his side with some people, like Cocamas, backstabbing him by spreading misinformation.
Documents presented at the hearing would show that Cocamas lied about corruption by the Evangelista dministration in the quarry operations.
At the hearing, municipal treasurer Rosario Berenguel informed that the share in taxes from quarrying of Santo Tomas muncipality in three years under Evangelista was nearly double compared to collections for the same number of years of the previous administration.
Documents from the Municipal Treasurer’s Office presented by Berenguel showed that collection from quarrying taxes from 2019 to 2021 (up to October) were as follows: 2019 – P278,000; 2020 – P425, 000; and 2021 – 467,000 or a total of P1,170,000.
Comparatively, collection from 2016 to 2018 were as follows: 2016 – P72,000; 2017 – P203,000; and 2018 – P384,000 or a total of P659,000 and about half the tax collected during the Evangelista administration that amounted to P1,170,000.
Evangelista is seeking reelection in the 2022 polls, while Cocamas is running for vice mayor.
Municipal Administrator Atty. Elisa Evangelista-Lapina also attended th ehearing to respond to issues raised by Cocamas.
Recently in a Facebook post, Atty. Lapina warned Tomasinos, with the leection fever getting hot, of “fake news, fake accounts, fake intentions” aiming to discredit Mayor Evangelista.
Accordingly, Cocamas is a barking dog unleashed by his mayoral candidate Rolan Dejesica to hurl misinformation and black propaganda against Evangelista.
Even before my time, grabe ang anomalya diha sa quarry operation, Evanglista told the hearing after being acknowledged and allowed to participate in the proceeding.
To stop the anomalies, he said he was forced to create a special monitoring, outside of the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources AOffdce (MENRO), which was under his full control due whichput to an end the severe and numerous anomalies in the quarry operations.
To his face. Evangelista complained that Cocamas is making it appear that he has done nothing as a mayor.
He cited Cocamas’ privilege speech at the SB session on November 22, where he accused his administration of alleged anomalies not only in the quarry operation, but also in the use of the intelligence and peace and order funds.
Morag wala na koy nabuhat nga maayo, Evangelista said.
He said he has always been cooperative with members of the SB and even go down to their level to establish relations that would contibute to good public service. But still despite his efforts to achieve unity, Cocamas kept on attacking him personally.