ILOILO City – Militant alliance group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN) Panay warns local and national public officials to refrain from using public funds for electoral campaign.
“Public funds are meant for the delivery of services for the people and not for elections. Any politician, especially incumbent ones are prone to use these funds for their advantage,” Bayan Panay deputy secretary general Reylan Vergara warned.
Vergara added that distribution of items must be done without the presence of any public official running for re-election.
“We all know that their presence is already a form of campaigning, hence constitutes vote-buying when accompanied by projects or services delivered,” Vergara added.
Recently, Liberal Party standard bearer Mar Roxas was accused of vote-buying by youth group Anakbayan because of reports from 4Ps beneficiaries that the CCT program will not push through if Roxas will not win. The same is true here in Panay.
His wife Korina Sanchez-Roxas was also reported to have been present and was the one distributing checks and farm inputs to farmer beneficiaries in an activity led by the Department of Agriculture.
“Here in Iloilo, Bayan received reports that Philhealth staff in a local public hospital in Mandurriao assisted patients in processing their Philhealth while reminding them to vote for President Aquino’s bet for the continuance of the Philhealth,” said Vergara.
He added that the staff even told patients, if they happen to have problems with their bills, to access Cong. Richard Garin, Jr. funds inside the hospital.
“These incident is a clear vote-buying scheme by the Liberal Party and the local political clan. The fund is supposedly illegal because it’s a form of PDAF or pork barrel that has been declared illegal and unconstitutional and was stopped by the Supreme Court in 2014,” Vergara added.
The militant group added that vote-buying scheme is rampant in this semi-feudal and semi-colonial Philippine system.
“So long as political clans, landlords and big comprador businesses rule the elections, our people will never get out from the quagmire of poverty and hunger,” he ended./PT