Red envelopes with P20 rain in Chinese New Year event attended by Estrada, Tolentino
MANILA, Philippines — Red envelops containing P20 rained in Binondo on Monday as politicians seeking national and local posts distributed them during the solidarity walk with businessmen for the Chinese New Year.
Among those who were seen distributing money were former MMDA chairman and senatorial candidate Francis Tolentino, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, and councilors Re Fugoso and Grace Chua.
Tolentino and Estrada said “there’s nothing wrong” with giving away money because it’s “part of [the Chinese New Year] tradition.”
According to Tolentino, his mother has Chinese blood, and that this tradition is being done even by politicians abroad, including “the president of Taiwan.”
The solidarity walk kicked off past 1 p.m. on Monday. Estrada together with councilors backing him were on board different electric tricycles that carried posters bearing their names and faces.
Estrada was joined by his vice mayoral candidate Honey Lacuña. Terrence Alibarbar and Abet Alonzo also had their posters plastered on at least two vehicles.
Tolentino was the only candidate seeking national post who joined the solidarity walk. Councilor Bernie Ang said they invited Tolentino and that the former MMDA chair has been joining their parades for several years now.
“Wag natin ito haluan ng pulitika,” Ang said.
Tolentino said the money did not come from his pocket. “It was from the stakeholders,” he said, explaining that the stakeholders included Ang and other Chinese businessmen.
Aside from the ang pao, Tolentino also gave away candies, Chinese delicacies, and 2016 pocket calendars with his picture and name. Estrada has also said that Tolentino is one of the senatorial candidates he’s endorsing for the 2016 race.
Nineteen groups of Chinese businessmen joined the motorcade that lasted about two hours. Together with politicians, they gave away candies, red t-shirts, and Chinese delicacies.
Ang said this was the first time that Chinese business groups decided to hold one parade for the Chinese New Year. He said in the pasts, each group would hold its own. SFM
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