NAVOTAS CITY, METRO MANILA — Reacting to reports that the wife of the Philippine ambassador in Saudi Arabia was seen in video campaigning for a presidential aspirant, PROMDI standard-bearer Sen. Manny Pacquiao advised other candidates to just follow the rules laid down by the Commission in Elections (Comelec) in order to ensure clean and honest elections.
Pacquiao was asked to give his opinion on the issue at a press briefing after he made a courtesy on Navotas Mayor Toby Tiangco. The People’s Champ also replied that Comelec should be the one to take action on the infraction, stressing that those running in this year’s electoral exercise should respect the rules that have been laid down by the poll body regarding campaigning.
The latest reports clarified that ambassador Adnon Alonto’s wife Jo is not yet off the hook, even though she is not covered by civil service rules when she joined a campaign for presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos and violated election rules for public officials.
Civil Service Commission (CSC) chief Aileen Lizada explained that while Alonto’s wife may not be covered by Section 7 of the Coverage of Civil Service under Executive Order No. 292 as her husband, it has to be determined if she had used his influence to be able to address the crowd.
Mrs. Alonto was filmed in video footage allegedly campaigning for UniTeam’s Marcos Jr. while wearing a red t-shirt with his initials as she spoke to a crowd of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Riyadh.
Campaign posters for Marcos and his running mate Davao Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio were also seen in the background of the video.
Pacquiao remarked that even without a reprimand from concerned government agencies, Alonto’s wife should have realized that her actions would trigger adverse comments that could taint the electoral process and cast doubts on its integrity.
“Nananawagan ako sa lahat ng mga kandidato na sundin ang mga rules ng Comelec sa pangangampanya para huwag nang pagdudahan na nagkaroon ng dayaan sa sting halalan,” the incumbent senator said. (ai/mtvn)