Mar condemns envelope distribution at LP sortie


MANILA - Administration candidate Mar Roxas has condemned the alleged distribution of envelopes supposedly containing money during a campaign sortie of the Liberal Party on Saturday.

In a statement, Roxas said: "I vehemently condemn these actions. This is not part of my platform, program, or actions. To me, this is wrong."

The LP candidate, whose main campaign promise is continuing the administration's anti-corruption drive and other programs, also said that he has not seen the viral video of the supposed campaign rally in Pikit North, Cotabato.

The video, uploaded Sunday by Juan Bayan on YouTube, shows an emcee at the LP campaign event telling the audience that those who would not cheer loudly for Roxas will not get envelopes.

The 58-second clip also shows the emcee rehearsing the crowd to say "Oras na, Roxas na."

Unsatisfied with the practiced chant, the emcee remarked: "Mahina dito, wala kayong envelope ha. Mahina d'yan sa likod, wala kayong envelope mamaya, sige."

"Gusto ko mula rito hanggang diyan, hanggang sa taas, kung sabay-sabay ito, malamang sasabog ang buong gymnasium na ito... One more time, 'Mabuhay ang Liberal Party!'"

The video continued with the emcee giving an envelope to a woman who uttered the name of Roxas’ wife, Korina Sanchez. She appeared to have answered a question because the emcee said, "You are right. Every right answer equals an envelope."

Another woman received also received an envelope but it was not shown why she was given one or what it contained.

The clip ended with Roxas' arrival at the gymnasium as the audience chanted "Oras na, Roxas na".

The presidential candidate promised to look into the incident and rebuke whoever may be at fault.

"If it indeed happened, we will find out who the organizers were and we will make them realize my view that this is wrong and must stop," he said.

LP spokesperson Rep. Barry Gutierrez earlier said the matter is under investigation. -- With a report from Alex Calda, ABS-CBN News