As a response to insinuations of vote-buying, Liberal Party presidential bet Manuel “Mar” Roxas slammed the alleged ‘distribution’ of envelopes supposedly containing money to people who attended his campaign sortie in Pikit, North Cotabato last March.
“I vehemently condemn these actions. This is not part of my platform, program, or actions. To me, this is wrong,” Roxas said in a statement posted on his official Facebook account dated Monday, April 18.
“I have not seen the video but if it indeed happened, we will find out who the organizers were and we will make them realize my view that this is wrong and must stop,” he added.
In the two-minute viral video posted on KutangBato Vlogger, an emcee in a Liberal Party proclamation rally can be seen directing the crowd and asking people to chant “Oras Na, Roxas Na!” The video showed him giving envelopes to the members of the audience in a seeming effort to lure some disinterested people in the crowd to participate in the chanting.
The emcee was telling the audience, “Mahina dito ba, wala kayong envelope ha,” and “mahina d’yan sa likod, wala kayong envelope mamaya sige,” meaning they would not be given envelopes supposedly containing money if they didn’t cheer for Roxas.
The video did not show whether the envelopes did contain money.
North Cotabato district representative Jesus Sacdalan clarified that it was the emcee who made a statement about the envelopes in a proclamation rally held in Pikit Municipal Gymand said that it was a “bad joke.”
“Gusto kong linawin ang isyu ng video kung saan nagbitiw ng hindi magandang biro ang emcee tungkol sa mga envelope. Walang basehan ang birong ito at hindi ito ayon sa sinusundan naming patakaran. We do not engage in that kind of politics,” said Sacdalan.
Akbayan Rep. Barry Gutierrez, spokesperson of the Daang Matuwid coalition, echoed the condemnation and reiterated that their camp does not toleration distribution of cash to supporters.
“Our instruction to the local organizers of these events is clear: we do not tolerate these things. We are investigating the truth behind this video,” Gutierrez said in a statement.