Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez doubled down on his debunked claim that no other presidential candidate in the 2022 elections had helped Ormoc City during “disasters and calamities” except for former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

Gomez made the claim anew as he reacted to some parts of a PressOne.PH fact check cited in a video by “SHOWBIZ CHIKA-DORO,” a channel with 162,000 subscribers, on YouTube.

The fact check, which rated as “false” Gomez’s claim that Marcos was the only politician who helped Ormoc during disasters and difficult times, contained a 2013 quote by Sen. Manny Pacquiao where the then Sarangani congressman said he had decided to give money to Typhoon “Yolanda” victims rather than spend it on his birthday party.  

Pacquiao’s quote is as follows: “Simple lang ang celebration ngayon. Sa halip na gastusin ko sa magarbong birthday party, idinonate ko na lang sa mga biktima ng bagyo sa Leyte at Eastern Samar.” PressONE.PH obtained the quote from a Philippine Daily Inquirer story.

Gomez claimed Pacquiao did not donate money from his own pocket.

Gomez produced a document that showed that a donation of P1.5 million was made to Ormoc on Dec. 3, 2013, but under the name of  the General Santos (GenSan) city government.

“How can he spend something that is not yours (sic)? Pera ng GenSan ‘to, hindi mo sariling personal money,” Gomez said.

“Dapat nga hindi niyo na nilabas to, kasi makikita niyo na nagsinungaling si Manny sa sinabi niya na imbes na gastusin ko to sa magarbong birthday, e ibigay ko na lang sa inyo. How can you spend government money for your own birthday?” Gomez added.

But in the aftermath of supertyphoon “Yolanda” in 2013, Pacquiao also visited Leyte on the ground and on Dec. 3, 2013, distributed relief goods to Ormoc residents, as reported by GMA News’ JP Soriano.

Gomez also disputed Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo’s assistance to victims of an earthquake that hit Ormoc on July 6, 2017.

The Ormoc mayor read the following quote as mentioned in the PressONE.PH fact check:  “We have spoken with the provincial government of Leyte and the mayor of Kananga. They said what the people need there are shelter materials so that’s what our office will bring there.”

Gomez said he was thankful for Robredo’s aid but stressed that  Ormoc, as an independent component city, is not under the government of Leyte and that Kalanga is not in Ormoc.

However, Gomez did not finish reading the fact check. Two paragraphs after the quote he read was another statement of Robredo in which the vice president assured Ormoc residents of psychosocial services.

Gomez and his wife, Leyte Rep. Lucy Torres-Gomez, recently endorsed the presidential bid of Marcos. John Ezekiel J. Hirro

Related Story: