“DECENT people would not use ‘Daang Matuwid’ in the ballots just to ride on the projects of the government all over the country.” Thus said independent vice presidential candidate Sen. Francis ‘Chiz’ Escudero as he took a swipe at Liberal Party (LP) candidates Mar Roxas and Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo for using government resources and slogan in their campaign sorties.
Escudero yesterday said the conduct of the LP’s campaign was in stark contrast to Roxas’ claims that he and Robredo, his running mate, were on the side of “decency.”
A ‘decent’ man has delicadeza. “A ‘decent’ man would have immediately resigned his cabinet post so that it would not be said that this was being used for the campaign. A ‘decent’ man does not use government resources to gain an unfair advantage over his rivals,” Escudero added.
Escudero, who is running with Sen. Grace Poe, resigned as chairperson of the powerful Senate Finance and as co-chairman of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on Public Expenditures in July last year to ensure that budget deliberations were “untainted by suspicions or perceptions of partisan politics.”
Roxas, only stepped down as secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) in September 2015, some two months after he was anointed by President Aquino as his successor and official LP candidate.
Escudero added that with just days to go before the elections, reports of government functionaries distributing cash to barangay leaders to mobilize voters for Roxas and Robredo have been rampant.
Even beneficiaries of the government’s ‘conditional cash transfer (CCT) program disclosed that cash incentives have been offered in exchange for their support for the administration ticket.
Over the LP’s use of the government’s ‘Daang Matuwid’ slogan, Escudero noted that even Gregorio Larrazabal, former commissioner of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), argued that the use of the slogan by Roxas and Robredo as their nicknames in the ballot is a clear violation of the Omnibus Election Code (OEC).
Escudero said that Roxas and Robredo knew they may have been violating election laws, but did so anyway because they knew they would not be punished by the Comelec.
“Integrity is not doing something even if you know you can get away with it.
Mar and Leni knew they could get away with it because they are the admin candidates and because they claim to be ‘disente,’” Escudero added.