THE Liberal Party’s Manuel Roxas II and Leni Robredo are the most corrupt presidential and vice presidential candidates, respectively, for using government resources and coercing the recipients of the government’s dole to the poor to support them, the group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan said Wednesday.
“Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo condone and benefit from corruption when they indicated in their Certificates of Candidacy and eventually on the official ballots that their nicknames are ‘daang matuwid’,” Bayan secretary-general Renato Reyes Jr. said.
“They hope to benefit from the extensive use of government resources and government propaganda for the ruling party,” he said.
Kabataan Rep. Terry Ridon also assailed presidential sister Kris Aquino for using government helicopters in making the rounds to campaign for Roxas and Robredo whose principal campaign manager is President Benigno Aquino III.
“The use of public resources for the presidential campaign of Mar Roxas, including the use of AFP choppers by presidential sister Kris Aquino to campaign for Mar, is by far worse than the crass remark of another presidential candidate,” Ridon said.
“The photos clearly have no other explanation but the brazen use of government machinery to further the campaign of Mar Roxas,” he said.
Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares, a candidate for senator, said Roxas and other Aquino Cabinet secretaries should be summoned by the Senate for their neglect and incompetence that led to the Kidapawan carnage on April 1.
“Secretaries Proceso Alcala [Agriculture], Dinky Soliman [Social Welfare), Florencio Abad [Budget] and Mar Roxas should also be questioned in the Senate hearing because as the LP team was campaigning during the days leading to the bloodbath, reports were rife that the police opened fire on the farmers because Mar was in the area and the road had to be cleared for him,” Colmenares said.
“The public should be warned that while we do not like insensitive leaders, the leadership represented by Mar Roxas is incompatible with the most basic aspirations of our people,” Ridon said.
Reyes said investigating the reported cash envelopes in the LP rallies was not enough.
On Tuesday, Gabriela Rep. Emmi de Jesus said Soliman was threatening the recipients of the dole to the poor that some P500 would be deducted from their monthly doles if they defied the directive to attend the rallies for Roxas.
She said Gabriela was able to gather reports that coercion was being done in Cebu, Bacolod, Pikit, North Cotabato and Metro Manila.
The membership of the 4Ps under the controversial Conditional Cash Transfer program has grown to more than four million households with a budget of P65 billion.
The LP’s reported coercion, vote-buying, abuse of government resources and electioneering are now the subject of a probe jointly undertaken by the Commission on Elections and Commission on Human Rights.
It was Roxas’ rival, Vice President Jejomar Binay, the standard bearer of opposition United Nationalist Alliance, who first warned that the Liberals were using government resources in the election campaign.
The Bantay Karapatan sa Halalan, a joint initiative of the two agencies, said among the incidents reported included the use of government facilities in the campaign as well as threats to the dole beneficiaries that they would suffer a reduction of benefits or removal from the list if they did not attend election rallies.