UNA hits Valte: Quit, join LPcampaign
Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - February 5, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) yesterday 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 spokesman 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 the 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 spokesman Edwin Lacierda, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala and Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman.

“She is not the spokesperson for the Liberal Party but for 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 Manuel Roxas II.

On Thursday, Valte called out the 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 “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.

Valte, a lawyer by profession, aired this protest in her Facebook account, where she noted that all government officials were covered – from the executive, legislative, judiciary and even the independent constitutional bodies.

Comelec said the new rule would take effect Feb. 9 when the campaign period commences.

Being a lawyer, she then explained that censorship could only be allowed in instances when there is “clear and present danger of a substantive evil to public safety, public morals, public health or any other legitimate public interest.”

Three days before the campaign period for national polls starts, Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista yesterday reminded government officials that they are not allowed to engage in partisan politics.

Bautista noted that civil service employees who are part of the democracy are banned from engaging in partisan political act.  

He said that they should not wear baller, t-shirt, pins and other items that may indicate their political color.

But Bautista maintained that similar prohibition does not apply to political appointees.

“There are government employees who cannot get involved in partisan politics while others may do so. For example, our President and the Cabinet members, they are not banned,” he added. With Delon Porcalla, Sheila Crisostomo

ABIGAIL VALTE ACIRC AGRICULTURE SECRETARY PROCESO ALCALA AND SOCIAL WELFARE SECRETARY CORAZON SOLIMAN BUDGET SECRETARY FLORENCIO ABAD BUT BAUTISTA COMELEC COMELEC CHAIRMAN ANDRES BAUTISTA ILAGAN LIBERAL PARTY PUBLIC VALTE
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