Watchdog seeks probe of fund use by Bong Go
Poll watchdog Kontra Daya on Thursday called on the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to investigate senatorial candidate Bong Go for probable use of government funds and resources in his campaign.
The group, apparently reacting to a claim made by opposition senatorial candidate Gary Alejano, noted that T-shirts bearing the image of Go were distributed during the first National Assembly of the Liga ng mga Barangay sa Pilipinas on Feb. 25.
“Allowing the Bong Go shirts to be included in the kits of an official government function is already a form of electioneering and the Comelec should put its foot down as regards this unacceptable practice,” Kontra Daya said in a statement.
Under the Omnibus Election Code, it is considered an election offense to use public funds, equipment and facilities that are owned or controlled by the government for an election campaign or any partisan political activity.
Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said the poll body was prepared to act on the allegations “if a case (were) filed.”
On Wednesday, presidential daughter and Hugpong ng Pagbabago leader Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte said opposition senatorial candidate Alejano was lying when he said on Tuesday that the Go shirts used public funds.
Alejano has no proof, the mayor said, adding that “honesty is not an election issue” with Go.
She added that “the (opposition slate) deliberately says false statements against the administration. So they are all liars. Everybody lies.”
But Kontra Daya urged the Duterte administration “to prove that no government funds and resources are being misused to favor certain candidates. Official statements of denial are simply not enough.”
The group said “the Comelec should intervene by investigating how official activities funded by taxpayers are being maximized by candidates like Go.”
Interior Secretary Eduardo Año also “categorically” denied the allegation, and said that there was “nothing” in the memorandum cited by Alejano that “permitted the use of government funds to pay for any campaign materials of any candidate.”
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