March 7, 2019. Kontra Daya calls on the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) to investigate senatorial candidate Bong Go for probable use of government funds and resources in his ongoing campaign.

The media reports about T-shirts bearing the image of Bong Go being distributed at the 1st National Assembly of the Liga ng mga Barangay sa Pilipinas last February 25 are alarming given that he was physically present at the event, as may be gleaned from the photo documentation of the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

In a related development, Kontra Daya also received reports last March 1 about basketball rings bearing again Go’s image found at the Bacolod Government Center. It may also be recalled that last February 11 (i.e., a day before the official start of the campaign for senators and party-list groups), Go was a guest of honor at an event of the Philippine National Police (PNP) where he reportedly gave a speech, met with hundreds of college students and had a press conference inside Camp Crame.

Government officials supporting Go’s candidacy are expected to deny that government funds and resources had been or are being used, which is why the COMELEC should intervene by investigating how official activities funded by taxpayers are being maximized by candidates like Go who are apparently favored by the powers-that-be, especially the President.

The need to investigate is magnified by the fact that DILG Secretary Eduardo Año reportedly issued a memorandum “authorized the local officials to pay for the fee of attendees, which range from P13,800 for those not staying at select hotels to P19,800 for stay-in delegates.

“Now, more than ever, the Duterte administration should prove that no government funds and resources are being misused to favor certain candidates. Official statements of denial are simply not enough.Much as those in power can conveniently hide behind legal technicality, what they cannot deny is the lack of propriety. Allowing the Bong Go T-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.

Contact person: Danilo Arao, convenor, Kontra Daya

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