UNA hits Valte: Resign, join LP campaign
Janvic Mateo (Philstar.com) - February 5, 2016 - 2:51am

MANILA, Philippines - Opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) advised deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte to resign from her post if she insists on campaigning for candidates of the ruling Liberal Party (LP).

UNA spokesperson Mon Ilagan criticized Valte after her online tirade against the Commission on Elections (Comelec) ruling that prohibits government officials from actively promoting a candidate.

“Why take to social media to air her gripes about Comelec’s rule when there is a clear solution to her campaign woes? If Ms. Valte really wants to promote candidates of the Liberal Party, then what is stopping her from doing so?” Ilagan said.

“She can always resign. In fact, it might be better that she resign and take with her Lacierda, Abad, Alcala, Soliman, and all other government officials who are actively promoting Liberal Party candidates,” he added.

Ilagan was referring to presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda, budget secretary Florencio Abad, agriculture secretary Proceso Alcala, and social welfare secretary Corazon Soliman.

“She is not the spokesperson of the Liberal Party but of the Palace,” Ilagan said in Filipino. “If she’s still confused as to her job description after all these years, then it might be time she considers resigning."

UNA is fielding Vice President Jejomar Binay against LP bet former interior secretary Mar Roxas.

On Thursday, Valte called on Comelec over its rules for supposedly restraining freedom of speech.

She specifically noted Section 1 (4) (e), which stated that the act of government officials of “expressing their personal opinion, view and preference for candidates on social media is now considered electioneering. Ergo election offense.”

“For censorship to be allowed under the Constitution, there must be a clear and present danger of a substantive evil to public safety, public morals, public health or any other legitimate public interest,” stressed Valte.

She noted that the Administrative Code provides that nothing “should prevent any officer or employee from expressing his views on current political problems or issues, or from mentioning the names of his candidates for public office whom he supports.”

But according to Ilagan, the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Official and Employees states that “Public officials and employees shall provide service to everyone without unfair discrimination and regardless of party affiliation or preference.”

“Since she is clearly distressed by the Comelec rule, perhaps campaigning is more of her thing. If so, then she and her cohorts must resign and spare the Filipino people from their undue advertising of the LP candidates,” Ilagan said.

Section 37 of the Comelec Resolution states that violation of the resolution would constitute an “election offense” punishable by imprisonment of not less than a year but not more than six years without probation.

Erring officials will be sentenced to disqualification to hold public office and deprivation of his right to vote, in accordance to Section 264 of the Omnibus Election Code, it added.

ABIGAIL VALTE ACIRC ADMINISTRATIVE CODE CODE OF CONDUCT AND ETHICAL STANDARDS COMELEC COMELEC RESOLUTION CORAZON SOLIMAN ILAGAN LIBERAL PARTY PUBLIC VALTE
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