By Rizal Obanil
Talisay, Batangas Mayor Gerry Natanauan apologized in behalf of his brother, Talisay Vice Mayor Charlie Natanauan, for seemingly urging their constituents to return to their homes despite the government’s enforcement of a lockdown in their town which is located within the 14-kilometer danger zone around Taal Volcano.
“Pasensiya na po kayo doon (vice-mayor). Ako po’y nahingi ng paumanhin doon. Taliwas po sa aking pinapatupad na lockdown ang kanyang panawagan (Please extend him your patience. I apologize in his behalf. What he said is against the lockdown I am enforcing),” Mayor Natanauan said in an interview with Noli de Castro over radio DZMM.
When asked why Vice Mayor Charlie Natanauan said the things he did, the local chief executive said: “Hindi ko po alam e, kung bakit po siya ay nagkakaganon (I don’t know why he’s acting that way).”
Because of the seeming tension between the two brothers who are occupying the top two posts in Talisay, De Castro asked whether the Natanauan brothers are on good terms.
Mayor Natanuan admitted that there was indeed tension between them. “Kahiya-hiya man pong sabihin, ay sadya pong hindi kami nagkakasundo. Sapul-sapul ay lagi pong na-kokontra ‘yung aking kagustuhang ipatupad sa bayan ng Talisay (Though embarrassing to admit, we really haven’t been on good terms from the start, because he has always been at odds with the way I want to govern Talisay).”
De Castro asked whether the discord between the two brothers was political in nature.
The Talisay mayor said: “Hindi ko po alam. Sa akin naman po ay wala namang problema. At lahat naman po ng magagandang gustong mapatupad sa bayan ng Talisay ay akin pong pinagsisikapang maipatupad. Kaya lamang po ay siyempre nakokontra po (I don’t know. As far as I’m concerned, there’s no problem. And every good thing I want done for Talisay, I try my best to achieve. However, there’s opposition).”
On this note, De Castro said it would be best for Talisay’s common good for the two brothers to set aside their differences and work together.
Mayor Natanuan agreed and said: “’Yun po ang dapat sa mga panahong katulad nito. Kailangang-kailangan po ng aming mga kababayan ang tulong (That’s what we should be doing at a time like this. Our countrymen really need help).
The Talisay mayor also admitted there are still 12 persons refusing to vacate the danger zone, saying these people are willing to run the risk of losing their lives just so they can ensure that their property and livestock are intact.
He said though he is doing all he can to convince these people to vacate the area, he admits that it is difficult, especially for people who don’t want to change their ways.