Paying people to attend sorties? “Hindi tayo ‘yon (It’s not us),” said presidential aspirant and Senator Manny Pacquiao in response to Manila Mayor Isko Moreno’s recent allegation that some politicians hand out money to attend sorties.
In a statement on Saturday, December 11, Pacquiao said people swarm his motorcades and sorties willingly and not because they were paid to attend.
“Hindi tayo ‘yon. Sa atin, talagang wala naman tayong ibinabayad sa kanila. Masayang-masaya ang puso ko dahil all-out support sila sa akin at nakita ko kung paano ‘yong pag-welcome nila sa akin.… At ‘yon ay hindi hakot at ‘yon ay hindi binayaran,” said Pacquiao.
(It’s not us. In our sorties, we do not pay them. I am very happy because of the all-out support given to me, and I see that when they welcome me. And they are not being paid to do that.)
Moreno, who is also running for president in the 2022 elections, alleged on Friday, December 10, that some politicians hand out P500 to P1,500 for people to attend sorties. He cautioned that this type of politician would collect “high interest” if elected.
Pacquiao’s recent sorties have been known to draw crowds as he would often give out cash aid, sometimes rice or relief packs, in these events.
On Saturday, the senator said paying people to attend sorties and motorcades is “different” from his relief and cash-giving activities.
“Kung ano man ‘yong pinamimigay natin ay ipinagpapatuloy ko na lang ‘yong ginagawa ko mula pa noon – ‘yong pagbibigay ng ayuda, ‘yong pagtulong sa mga kababayan natin na nahihirapan,” Pacquiao said.
(Whatever we are giving away is just a continuation of our efforts from before – giving cash aid, helping our countrymen who are in need.)
Pacquiao had said in October he would continue his gift-giving activities and would only stop once the campaign period starts, when it could be considered as an election offense. – Rappler.com