April 22, 2016
MANILA, Philippines – Quezon City administrator Aldrin Cuña on Thursday said the city government has nothing to do with the distribution of “envelopes” that contain money in a recent political gathering in the city.
He said several local officials running under the Liberal Party (LP) only went to the gathering at the Amoranto Sports Complex because the party invited them.
If someone was distributing money in the event, Cuña said it surely does not come from the city government’s fund.
“Wala talaga kinalaman ang QC government doon. Bisita lang talaga ang mga (local) candidates doon,” he said.
Cuña noted that he also does not believe that the “envelopes” were given to attendees in exchange for votes.
According to GMA News, members of the “Lupon ng Tagapamayapa” from the city’s Districts 1, 3, and 6 were among the attendees.
They said they have been invited to attend the event because some city officials like Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista and Representative Rey Calalay will be there to give a speech.
Several employees of the city government were caught in the act giving out snacks and small brown envelopes to attendees.
When confronted, they denied giving out dole-outs and said they had no authority to speak on the matter.
As for the recipients, at least two denied receiving any envelope even though one was openly carrying it.
However, a female attendee revealed the content of her envelope to be P1,000.
When a male attendee was asked what the envelope was for, he said: “Para na rin sa pangangampanya siguro. Dahil siyempre sinabi nila na iboto sila eh.”
Cuña said the money inside the envelope was probably transportation allowance of the attendees that came from the contribution of the candidates.
He added that the government-marked vehicles that were used by some of the participants to go back to their localities were service of the barangay officials, who “also probably attended the gathering.”
Bautista is eyeing a third and final term as mayor.
He is challenged by virtually unknown aspirants Martin Sanchez Jr., Leon Peralta, and Alexander Lague.
Calalay, on the other hand, is up against former congressman Vincent “Bingbong” Crisologo. – RBA