The Department of Interior and Local Government denied the allegation of Rep. Gary Alejano that government funds were used to purchase Bong Go campaign T-shirts and distributed during the Liga ng mga Barangay Convention last February 25, 2019.
“We wish to inform Alejano that DILG Memorandum Circular 23 s. 2019 is a standard memorandum for local government league events. It simply encouraged all punong barangays to attend the 1st National Convention of the Liga ng mga Barangay. It likewise authorized those participating in the convention to charge their traveling expenses and registration fees from their local funds,” DILG Secretary Eduardo Ano said.
“Our memorandum clearly states that expenditures of the officials are “subject to the availability thereof and to the usual accounting and auditing requirements and to all pertinent laws, rules, and regulations,” he said.
The DILG official emphasized that nothing in the memorandum permitted the use of government funds to pay for any campaign materials of any candidate.
“So, Alejano is barking up the wrong tree when he showed the DILG Memorandum as basis for his unsubstantiated allegation,” he said.
He said the Liga National Convention is an independent activity initiated and implemented by the national league officers.
They have their own organizers. Just like in any local government league activity, the DILG just provided the guidelines so that the activity is in accordance with law.
On the part of the Liga ng mga Barangay, they assured us that no public funds from the LnB or the registration fees of the barangay officials were used to purchase campaign materials of any candidate.
“It was explained to us by the LnB that the t-shirts referred to by Alejano were in fact bought and paid for by “Bayan For Bong Go,” a private organization of individuals who are supportive of the candidacy of former SAP Bong Go, and was not purchased by the Liga using public funds. The LNB remains an apolitical association of punong barangays,” Ano said.
He said the DILG under his watch will never allow any irregularity moreso allowing the use of public funds for unauthorized items.
"Yung gumawa ng allegations ang hanapan ng proof rather than entertaining fake news. I also know Bong Go personally and he will not allow Barangay Captains to spend a single centavo for him. Therefore this allegation by Alejano, who happens to be a senatorial candidate, is nothing but fake news,” he said.
Photo from Rappler