Visayas Ombudsman probes Kris Aquino’s use of presidential chopper for campaign
CEBU CITY — The Office of the Ombudsman in the Visayas is looking into reports that television host Kris Aquino used a presidential helicopter during a campaign sortie of the Liberal Party (LP) in Cebu last Tuesday.
Lawyer Ma. Corazon Naraja, spokesperson of the anti-graft office based in Cebu City, said they were gathering facts about the incident and would determine the legal issues concerning the matter.
“We’re studying the issue at hand,” she told the Inquirer.
Naraja refused to elaborate, saying they would have to consider several legal aspects about the issue.
According to Naraja, the Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines prohibits the use of government-owned vehicles and other government resources in election campaigns .
“Let me remind everyone that using government resources to promote the candidacy of any person is an election offense,” Naraja said.
The Office of the Ombudsman learned about the incident involving the presidential sister through media reports.
As a policy, the anti-graft office can conduct an investigation on its own, based on reports in the media.
Kris Aquino was heavily criticized after photos on social media showed her alighting from a presidential chopper to campaign for LP presidential candidate Mar Roxas and the latter’s running mate Camarines Sur Rep. Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo.
Kris, who wore a yellow shirt and black pants, was accompanied by people who appeared to be her aides.
The photos, which were uploaded on Facebook, was released by the Municipality of Dalaguete where the presidential chopper reportedly landed last Tuesday.
Kris attended a political rally of Roxas and Robredo in Argao town located next to Dalaguete. President Benigno Aquino III also graced the event after inaugurating a solar power plant in San Carlos City in Negros Occidental.
The photos drew flak from netizens who said that what Kris did was contrary to the “Daang Matuwid (Straight Path),” platform of government espoused by the President and LP candidates.
They also accused Mr. Aquino and LP of misusing public funds and resources by allowing Kris to ride on a government vehicle and using government resources to campaign for Roxas and Robredo.
Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. had explained to the media that members of the President’s immediate family were allowed to ride with him in official government vehicles. SFM
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