MALACAÑANG yesterday renewed President Rodrigo Duterte’s stand that no government fund shall be used in support of or against any candidate running in the 2019 midterm elections.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Duterte would be “strict” with the ban of using government resources for the campaign period.
“The President will never use any government resource in support and against candidates. Strikto siya doon (he’s very strict when it comes to that),” Panelo told reporters yesterday.
“He made the endorsement (of candidates) during the time na hindi naman (when it was still not) prohibited. Basta sinabi niya na ‘I will not allow any government fund to be used in support of or against any particular candidate. Itaga niyo sa bato ‘yan (set that in stone),” he added.
Panelo also brushed aside detractors’ criticisms on the President’s early endorsements of select political bets.
Some of the candidates being supported by Duterte, notably former Special Assistant to the President Bong Go, often tag along with the President during his provincial trips and speaking engagements.
Government critics have questioned Go’s presence in such trips and have asked whether his travels are at government expense.
The Commission on Elections earlier said it did not find anything wrong with Go accompanying Duterte on his trips as the former has a “freedom of movement.”
The official campaign period for senatorial bets and partylist groups starts today.