'Reprehensible': Comelec fumes after emergency alert used for 'political propaganda'

Jauhn Etienne Villaruel, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 06 2021 09:55 PM

MANILA — A Commission on Elections (Comelec) official on Wednesday branded as "reprehensible" the use of the country's emergency alert system for "political propaganda," saying those behind it must be held accountable. 

"Obviously using the emergency alert system for political propaganda is a reprehensible tactic. It is unreservedly wrong," Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said.

Jimenez was asked in a press briefing to react on the emergency alerts and messages that appeared on several people's mobile phones Wednesday afternoon appearing to promote the 2022 presidential bid of former Sen. Bongbong Marcos, the late dictator's son. 

The "emergency" messages were blasted coincidentally when Marcos was in the Comelec tent in Sofitel while filing for his candidacy.

According to Jimenez, relevant agencies must "move heaven and earth" to identify those behind the crisis blast, a system reserved for calamities and other disasters.

"Whoever did this has to be held accountable. This is a reprehensible strategy and it should not be replicated by anyone. And I hope relevant agencies will move and earth to find out who did this," Jimenez told reporters. 

The spokesman admitted he could not think of any electoral laws violated by the emergency blast mainly because "I don’t think the law ever anticipated that there would be an emergency alert system."

The National Telecommunications Commission said it is looking into the matter. 

Marcos and his allies "support the swift action of the NTC calling for an investigation," said his chief of staff Victor Rodriguez.