Latest Stories

UNA seeks Comelec probe of gift check distribution

A PHOTOCOPY of a December 2012 gift certificate that UNA says is just among many distributed in time for the campaign. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) said it had asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to investigate the use of gift certificates by a group closely associated with the ruling Liberal Party (LP) to allegedly woo votes for LP candidates.

But while Navotas Representative Toby Tiangco, UNA secretary general, described the practice as “massive and nationwide,” he admitted that UNA had documented only one case of gift certificate distribution by the group Kaya Natin!

The gift certificates were from a popular book and drug store and worth P500 and P1,000. Some were dated December last year but distributed at the height of the campaign period, according to UNA.

“This is a serious issue of vote-buying because it was timed during the local campaign, and it is clear money was involved,” Tiangco said in a statement. He cited one case in Quezon City.

Reached for comment, Kaya Natin! convenor Harvey Keh said what Tiangco was “perhaps referring to is the Estudyante program that Kaya Natin!, together with Quezon City Rep. Jorge Banal and the Quezon City [government], has implemented to provide free school supplies and educational materials to public high school students from the third district of Quezon City.”

The program, he said, has been going on for three years.

Keh described Tiangco’s allegation as “false and malicious.” Kaya Natin!, he said, “espouses effective, ethical and empowering leadership.”

The movement was founded by a group of politicians, among them the late Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo, former Pampanga Gov. Eddie Panlilio and former Isabela Gov. Grace Padaca, now an election commissioner.

On its website, Kaya Natin! urged Tiangco to resign as UNA campaign manager if he could not produce proof that the gift certificates also bore the names of four Team PNoy candidates. The four are Ramon Magsaysay Jr., Risa Hontiveros, Bam Aquino and Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III.

“The Liberal Party and any member of the Team PNoy slate have never been involved in this project at all nor have we had any meetings with the LP or Team PNoy’s leaders to discuss this said project,” Kaya Natin! said.

Gift certificates, instead of cash, were given to ensure the funds would be used for school supplies, according to Kaya Natin! These were distributed on March 7. Kaya Natin! said it endorsed the four candidates on March 20.

“Should he (Tiangco) fail to present concrete evidence to back his accusation, we also challenge him to hold himself accountable for these malicious lies that he is spreading by immediately and irrevocably resigning from his post as campaign manager of UNA, since apparently it escapes him that he should focus more on actually campaigning for their candidates’ platforms and competencies rather than focusing his energies on black propaganda,” said Kaya Natin!

In Quezon City, high school students were given the gift certificates through their parents. The vouchers were given at  Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo High School, Don Quintin Paredes High School, Balara High School, Jose P. Laurel High School, Juan Sumulong High School and Quirino High School. Tonette Orejas, Inquirer Central Luzon

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: 2013 elections , Comelec , Elections , Gift check , LP , Politics , Regions , UNA

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Massive infra spending set
  5. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  6. DOJ to NBI: Arrest Cedric Lee, 4 others
  7. Cardinal Tagle to faithful: Join politics to clean it
  8. Estrada, Gigi Reyes denied access to evidence from other respondents
  9. Lacson’s wife loses diamond earring to thieves but recovers jewelry quickly with police arrest
  10. DOJ orders arrest of Cedric Lee
  1. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  2. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  3. Netizens cry: 6/55 Lotto was rigged
  4. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  5. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  6. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  7. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  8. ‘King’ Yabut and I: Driver bares Makati dad ‘abuses’
  9. It was difficult having Japanese blood
  10. Palace: We can’t blame increase in population on Vitangcol
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. UP back on top as ‘average’ student aces bar
  5. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  6. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  7. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  8. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  9. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  10. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’


  • Nebraska toddler gets stuck inside claw machine
  • Philippine eagle rescued by Army turned over to DENR
  • Gunmen attack Iraq military base, kill 10 soldiers
  • South Korea president shouted down by distraught parents
  • Classmates celebrating 60th birthday among missing in ferry sinking
  • Sports

  • Nadal passes clay landmark with 300th victory
  • Wawrinka waltzes through with Monte Carlo walkover
  • Power Pinays smash India in Asian Women’s Club volleyball opener
  • PH youth boxers off to stumbling start in AIBA World tilt
  • Durant has 42, Thunder beat Pistons 112-111
  • Lifestyle

  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  • Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  • Entertainment

  • Jones, Godard, Cronenberg in competition at Cannes
  • Will Arnett files for divorce from Amy Poehler
  • American rapper cuts own penis, jumps off building
  • Jay Z to bring Made in America music fest to LA
  • Why Lucky has not bought an engagement ring for Angel
  • Business

  • Total says makes ‘very promising’ oil find off Ivory Coast
  • ‘Chinese Twitter’ firm Weibo to go public in US
  • World stocks subdued, Nikkei flat on profit taking
  • Asia stocks fail to match Wall Street gains
  • Fired Yahoo exec gets $58M for 15 months of work
  • Technology

  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • DOF: Tagaytay, QC best at handling funds
  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Malaysia quarantines 64 villagers over MERS virus
  • DFA: 2 Filipinos survive Korean ferry disaster
  • PH asks airline passengers to check for MERS
  • Syria most dangerous country for journalists, PH 3rd—watchdog
  • Japan says visa-free entry still a plan
  • Marketplace