‘Vote for Aguilar’ fiasco: Panelo says there’s no Duterte endorsement
President Rodrigo Duterte did not endorse folk singer Freddie Aguilar in the 2019 elections, Malacañang insisted Tuesday.
This even after the President categorically urged the public to “vote” for the senatorial aspirant in the 2019 elections during an inauguration in Parañaque City on Monday.
“Hindi naman, he’s just expressing his opinion the qualification of the person. Hindi naman niya sinabing iboto niyo eh. Sabi niya lang, the messages of the songs of Freddie Aguilar has social content, ganun siya (ka) brilliant,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a Palace briefing.
While it was true that the President had hailed Aguilar, official transcript and videos from Malacañang, however, showed the President saying: “Vote for Freddie Aguilar!” as he raised the hand of the musician.
“Kaya ako nakikiusap. Tutal dose man ‘yan. Ibigay ninyo sa isang nationalist, ‘yung isang taong nagmamahal sa bayan. And the protest of his songs is there. Makikita na ninyo for the next generations and generations to come,” Panelo said.
The President’s endorsement of Aguilar was aired on national television and was live streamed on social media.
Reporters insisted that the Chief Executive indeed used the word “vote” in endorsing Aguilar and asked Panelo if this could be premature campaigning on the part of the President.
“He may not be referring to an election. He may be referring to, you people vote for this man, as an outstanding man,’” Panelo said.
“A question was, however, asked with regard to the President’s statement being a form of premature campaigning. To this, we responded in the negative, explaining that the President was not referring to elections. This is because the period therefor will only start on January 13, 2019,” Panelo further explained.
The Supreme Court ruling on the 2009 decision on the disqualification case of then Sta. Monica, Surigao del Norte mayor Rosalinda Penera said premature campaigning was no longer an election offense. /muf/ac
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