By Chito Chavez
Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Eduardo M. Año scored Rep. Gary Alejano for claiming that government funds were used to buy the campaign t-shirts of administration senatorial bet Bong Go during the Liga ng mga Barangay Convention last Feb. 25.
“We categorically deny the allegation of Rep Gary Alejano that government funds were used to purchase Bong Go campaign T-shirts,’’ Año said.
He reminded Alejano that DILG Memorandum Circular 23 s. 2019 is a standard memorandum for local government league events.
Año said DILG simply encouraged all punong barangays to attend the First 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,” Año said.
“We wish to emphasize that nothing in the memorandum permitted the use of government funds to pay for any campaign materials of any candidate,’’ he said.
Año emphasized that Alejano “is barking up the wrong tree’’ by showing the DILG memorandum as basis for his allegation.
As he shrugged off Alejano’s insistence, Año explained the Liga National Convention is an independent activity implemented by the league’s 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,” he said.
Meanwhile, Liga ng mga Barangay President Faustino Dy V assured no public funds from the LnB or the registration fees of the barangay officials were used to purchase campaign materials of any candidate.
The LnB noted 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 his candidacy and “was not purchased by the Liga using public funds.”
Dy said the LNB remains an apolitical association of punong barangays.
Año vowed never to “allow any irregularity more so allowing the use of public funds for unauthorized items’’.
“The one who made the allegation should be the one to show proof rather than entertaining fake news,” he said.
“I also know Bong Go personally and he will not allow Barangay Captains to spend a single centavo for him,’’ Año added.