MANILA - Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto III said the big number of people, including President Duterte and his entourage, who accompanied Special Assistant to the President Bong Go to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday was expected.
Sotto on Tuesday said nobody should be blamed for the incident which resulted in the violation of the Comelec rule limiting the number of companions of candidates to four people, as the Presidential Security Group (PSG) had to accompany the President who showed his full support to his long-time aide’s senatorial bid.
“Hindi naman puwedeng papasukin ang Presidente na siya lang mag-isa. Hindi papayag ang PSG,” Sotto said.
Sotto also said he sympathizes with the Comelec which was forced to accommodate the people who accompanied Go.
“I sympathize with the Comelec. Wala sa kamay ng Comelec yun, hindi nila kayang i-enforce yun, kasi si Sec. Go, kung sasamahan siya ng apat, pinayagan siya, lima sila, papasok sila doon, wala naman silang magagawa doon,” Sotto said.
Among those in Go's entourage were Duterte, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, outgoing Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, members of the Presidential Security Group, and at least 2 dozen other supporters.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the matter should not be blown out of proportion and that no one should not be blamed for the incident.
The poll body has admitted that “special allowances” had to be made considering that VIPs, led by Duterte, accompanied Go during the filing of his COC.