PNoy defends Kris' use of pres'l chopper to campaign


BATANGAS - President Aquino has no problem inviting her younger sister, TV host and actress Kris Aquino, to ride the presidential chopper when he is going to different places as part of his duties as Chief Executive.

READ: Kris Aquino gets flak for using pres'l chopper

In an interview, the President reminded the public that his sister is one of the country's top individual taxpayers.

LOOK: Who are the top PH taxpayers in 2014?

He said those who are criticizing Kris for riding the presidential chopper are the same set of characters who have nothing good to say about his administration.

The President said his sister volunteered to campaign for Liberal Party candidates Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo.

On a personal note, Aquino said Kris was just a year old when martial law was declared. Since then, he said his sister has seen the sacrifices of their family for their country.

"Nagkamalay siya kung kailan dapang-dapa kami bilang isang pamilya. Gusto ko naman ipakita sa kanya, tignan mo ang resulta na talagang nagiging makabuluhan, may saysay itong demokrasya na ipinaglaban ng mga magulang natin," he said.

"Whether it is an individual taxpayer or someone who is very close to me who shared all of the burdens, I think it is just proper to share the successes. Share kami sa hirap, share kami sa successes," he added.

Kris Aquino is under fire from some netizens for supposedly using government resources to campaign for the administration's bets.

Photos posted on the official Facebook page of Dalaguete, Cebu show Mr. Aquino and his sister arriving at the Casay Airstrip via choppers with the presidential seal on Tuesday. The photos have gone viral after being reposted in other Facebook groups and pages.

Most of the comments slammed Ms. Aquino for using presidential choppers for campaigning. They say this is wasteful use of taxpayers' money.

But MalacaƱang defended the Aquino siblings' use of choppers.

In a text message, Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma said: "Members of the President's immediate family are allowed to ride with him in official government vehicles."

Palace officials earlier said public funds will not be used for partisan activities.

"May sariling pondo ang partido, ang koalisyon ay mayroon sariling logistics, and the President will only use what is required for his position," Undersecretary Manuel Quezon III said back in February. - with Rachel Hermosura, ABS-CBN News

ABS-CBN News, April 21, 2016