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MANILA, Philippines – A fastfood chain employee carried with him on Wednesday morning, February 2, multiple plastic bags of meals worth more than P5,000, to be delivered to retiring Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Rowena Guanzon.
But guards at the Palacio del Gobernador in Manila, where the Comelec central office is housed, was quick to tell him they couldn’t accept the delivery. Guanzon or anybody from her office didn’t order for those meals.
As it turned out, the feisty commissioner, who earlier revealed she had voted to disqualify presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., had been on the receiving end of bogus orders at least a day before she stepped down from the poll body.
The specific order from Kenny Rogers processed via the Booky app on Wednesday morning was worth P5,390, based on the receipt shown to reporters by the delivery boy named Franz Reyes.
Guanzon did not pay for the bogus order, and later confirmed on Twitter that her office had been the subject of fake food deliveries since Tuesday night, February 1.
“I pity the poor food riders. Those behind this are so bad,” Guanzon said. “Police are investigating. Beware!”
Guanzon, the tough-talking poll official, has been at the forefront of a public spat with her younger colleague in the First Division, Aimee Ferolino.
Guanzon had accused Ferolino, the designated writer of the ruling on the disqualification case against Marcos, of deliberately delaying its release until Guanzon’s retirement on Wednesday so that the latter’s vote to block the candidate’s would be invalidated. The senior commissioner even claimed a politician was influencing Ferolino on the matter.
Ferolino, however, insisted there was no delay, only “undue rush” from Guanzon, since the Marcos case is “complex and highly rated” and deserves more time to be carefully reviewed. Wednesday ended with no ruling promulgated, effectively making Guanzon’s vote to disqualify Marcos powerless.
Meanwhile, Booky expressed disappointment “with how some people have taken advantage of our platforms,” but said the incident was a learning experience.
“We are in contact with our restaurant partners to help create guidelines and necessary verification procedures for suspicious transactions in order to avoid this from happening in the future,” it said in a statement.
As for the specific bogus order of chicken meals, delivery boy Reyes initially said he had to return them to the store, but a pro-Marcos vlogger, who happened to be on the scene, said one of his migrant viewers volunteered to pay for the meals. (Pro-Marcos bloggers had been outside the Comelec to monitor the anti-Marcos protests.)
The vlogger even documented on his Youtube livestream his and the delivery boy’s journey to the mall to withdraw the money at a remittance center. But the video ended without clear indication that the meals had been paid.
Rappler called the Kenny Rogers branch involved, which confirmed that the payment for the order has been settled. – Rappler.com