Mayor of Antique’s Tobias Fornier town punches vice mayor over food aid

Erwin Delilan

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Mayor of Antique’s Tobias Fornier town punches vice mayor over food aid

FOOD FIGHT. Mayor Ernesto Tajanlangit III (taller man) of Tobias Fornier town confronts his vice mayor, Jojo Fornier, over a food aid dispute in Antique on Monday, April 29, as shown in a video posted on Facebook.


Mayor Ernesto Tajanlangit III of Tobias Fornier, Antique, says his vice mayor delayed the distribution of the food aid to residents suffering due to the El Niño phenomenon

BACOLOD, Philippines – As temperatures soared, a mayor and a vice mayor in Antique province engaged in a food fight and ended up in a bizarre showdown, with one literally delivering a punchline on Monday, April 29.

Mayor Ernesto “Toto” Tajanlangit III of Tobias Fornier town punched the face of his vice mayor, Jojo Fornier, over a dispute about food packs for families suffering as a result of the El Niño phenomenon.

As the heat of the argument rose higher than the scorching temperatures plaguing the region, Tajanlangit lost his cool as he expressed his irritation towards Fornier for what he perceived as holding the 5,000 food packs from the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) “hostage.” 

Fornier, he alleged, delayed the distribution of the food aid.

Taking to Facebook, Tajanlangit claimed he felt insulted by Fornier’s actions, which he likened to “ninja moves,” as Fornier took custody of the food packs and proceeded with their distribution to drought-affected constituents.

Tajanlangit obstructed the delivery truck driven by Fornier, leading to a verbal and physical altercation between the two officials around 10 am on Monday as shown on the “Inside Antique” Facebook page.

In radio interviews in Iloilo City, Fornier asserted that he had sought the food packs directly from Antique Governor Rhodora Cadiao, and not Tajanlangit.

Cadiao, speaking with Aksyon Radyo-Iloilo, corroborated Fornier’s statement.

Tajanlangit, however, insisted that the delivery of aid to their drought-hit residents fell within his jurisdiction and responsibility as the local chief executive. 

“I am still the mayor. I am still alive. You should respect me,” he told said, alleging Fornier’s actions was a usurpation of public function and assault on a person in authority.

In response, Fornier said he was preparing to file a complaint against Tajanlangit for slight physical injury. 

Tajanlangit said he would also file an administrative complaint against Fornier related to the alleged delay in providing aid to calamity victims.

Antique province was declared under a state of calamity by the provincial board on April 18 due to months of extremely dry weather conditions.

The town of Tobias Fornier is one of the 18 localities in Antique severely affected by the prolonged high temperatures over the past five month.

Damage to crops and livelihoods in the entire province was estimated at over P200 million, according to the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC). –

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