CANDABA, Pampanga—The Binay and Duterte camps on Sunday slammed President Benigno Aquino III for allowing administration presidential bet Manuel Roxas II’s wife Korina Sanchez to distribute P611 million worth of agriculture checks and equipment.
In a statement, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s running mate, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, said Sanchez joined the Department of Agriculture in handing down checks to farmers in Tagum City. She also joined the department in Kidapawan City in North Cotabato and Mexico in Pampanga.
Rico Quicho, Vice President Jejomar Binay’s spokesman, said Roxas and the ruling Liberal Party were using government funds and resources to buy votes.
Said Duterte’s spokesman Peter Laviña: “Korina is now an accomplice in a systematic shameless act that conditions the electorate to accept doles in exchange for votes.”
He questioned Sanchez’s authority to hand out government funds or implement government projects.
“Is Korina employed by the Department of Agriculture?” Laviña said.
“We have been saying for the longest time that not only are institutions being used by the government in politicking and campaigning, but the resources as well,” Quicho said.
“Public funds are being used by our opponents to make their lethargic candidate win.”
Earlier, Duterte’s camp blasted the LP for using government-issued vehicles in campaigning for Roxas and dismissed its Tuwid na Daan slogan as nothing but a sham.
“Have you no sense of decency and respect for the intelligence of the Filipino people?” Laviña asked, addressing Aquino and Sanchez.
He said there was now a pattern of “creative vote-buying schemes” employed by the administration for its bet.
“Clearly, this is a form of corruption,” he said.
Laviña noted how the Agriculture Department was linked with the multi-million-peso pork barrel scam of Janet Napoles that allegedly benefited a number of lawmakers, including some Liberal Party members.
He also recalled the fertilizer scam involving P728 million in agricultural funds when the department was headed by Jocelyn Bolante.
“The administration is repeating the sins of the past in its desperation to see its bet win the election,” Laviña said.