President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. KING RODRIGUEZ/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO
DAVAO CITY, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte found nothing wrong with handing fare money to supporters who attended the Hugpong ng Pagbabago miting de avance here Friday night, May 9.
“Just tell them, you took the money not for the votes but because you want your fare to go home,” the President told supporters after he was reminded that distributing cash during the campaign period is not allowed by law.
The President, speaking during the grand rally of HNP’s candidates in Davao City led by his daughter Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, was already around the end of an hour-long speech at past 10 p.m. when he asked, “Walay ihatag nga P100?” (We have no P100 to give?)
The President’s querry was greeted by shrieks from the audience.
The President then turned to his former Special Assistant now senatorial candidate Bong ,Go who told him it was “bawal” (not allowed).
“Bawal? How would these people get home?” the President asked.
Then, he explained to his audience that since (the prohibition) is “penal,” and that they could get imprisoned for violation, he told them to just say they were in a meeting and had borrowed money for their fare to Almendras gym, the venue for Friday night’s rally in this city.
His statement elicited more shrieks and applause from his audience.
“Tell them if you don’t take the money, you will have to roam around San Pedro (Street) offering yourself there (for sale), before you could get home.”
The President then took a dig at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) over what he said were unrealistic regulations involving assistance to supporters and local leaders that could be misconstrued as vote buying.
He also criticized the supposed prohibition on feeding supporters and poll watchers.
“You can’t let your leaders go hungry, how will you win?” he asked in Cebuano.
“Tuo man no anang Comelec (Don’t believe the Comelec),” he then said.
He told supporters what he was giving out was just a small amount, the big projects would come later.
Shortly after the President left at close to midnight, organizers had asked all the candidates and the media to leave, while Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, her younger brother vice mayor aspirant Sebastian Duterte, supporters and members of the police had a meeting inside the gym. /cbb
Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.