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ILOCOS SUR, Philippines - Local TV stations aired a video of incumbent Mayor of Sta Maria, Edgar Florendo, in Ilocos Sur allegedly giving away P1,000 bills under his own pulyetos.
The video, allegedly shot by a woman, was actually an excerpt of an almost 6-minute video uploaded on YouTube by "Sta Marian." Mayor Edgar Florendo is LP's bet in the mayoral race in Sta Maria, Ilocos Sur.
The video first showed old women showing the P1,000 they got from Florendo. Later, he was seen in a yellow shirt and cap inside a room, counting the people inside and counting some bills behind his clutch bag.
He was seen on the video personally handing money to two women in front, while his assistants handed the rest of the money to the people at the back including the videographer.
Florendo repeated in Ilocano, "Awan iti inyaw-awat ko kadakayo ah (I did not give you anything)," which was meant as a running joke because the people in the video were laughing. He said it at least 3 times, in a light hearted way, before telling the people they could leave.
The broadcasters in the region said the video was given to them by Kristine Gapusan of Aksyon Demokratiko, Florendo's opponent.
As vote-buying allegations marked the start of the local campaigns, Aquino told reporters in Capiz, "LP members are not exempt from the law."
He said, "At the end of the day, if there's proof, then they should file a case and we will not support them if they were wrong or if they broke the law."
Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Resolution 9615 Section 31 prohibits any person from giving anything of value before and after public meetings.
"It is unlawful for any candidate, party or any person to give or accept, free of charge, directly or indirectly, transportation, food and drinks, or anything of value during and within the five (5) hours before and after a public meeting, or to give or contribute, directly or indirectly, money or things of value for such purpose," the resolution says. - Rappler.com
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