President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered government officials not to use public funds for campaigning in this year’s midterm polls.
“Just to do away with those issues and to make it really equal for all, nobody uses government property or funds because that is not allowed by law,” he said in his speech at the Peace and Order Summit for Barangay Officials in Legazpi City, Albay on Friday.
Duterte said he had not allowed government officials to campaign for or against 2019 bets.
“Those in government, including the Cabinet secretary, I have not allowed them to do some campaigning for or against anybody,” he said.
The President said all government officials and employees were workers who should do their jobs right.
“We are workers of government. We are paid to do what we are doing and we must be doing it right,” he said.
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Duterte said he would not be involved in the politics of the 2019 midterm elections but would be campaigning for people he owed a debt of gratitude to.
He also called on politicians and candidates to follow the law in limiting their number of firearms and security detail.
“Any politician, whether for or against me or my administration, are bound by the same limitations of law. That is the Alunan doctrine which I am adopting because it is good for the country. Nobody, no politicians would go around with long firearms,” he said.
The President was referring to the doctrine introduced by then Interior Secretary Rafael Alunan, which limits the number of a politician’s armed bodyguards to only two.
Elsewhere on the political front, Vice President Leni Robredo underscored the necessity of competence and character in choosing candidates for the Senate in the May elections.
Robredo made the call prior to the official campaign kickoff of the Otso Diretso senatorial slate in Naga City, which has been touted as a model for people empowerment and participatory governance—long advocated by her late husband, Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo.
Vouching anew for the eight senatorial candidates of the opposition, Robredo’s camp, in a statement, said she was hopeful Naga’s example would inspire voters in nearby towns and across the country to choose their leaders wisely.
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