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Palace assures government funds won’t be used for Team Pnoy campaign

President Benigno Aquino (C) gestures alongside his Liberal Party Senatorial candidates during a proclamation rally in Manila February 12, 2013. The 90-day campaign period for the May 2013 midterm elections began on Tuesday. Pictured are (L-R): Jamby Madrigal, Koko Pimentel, President Aquino, Grace Poe and Bam Aquino. (MNS photo)

MANILA, Feb 13 (Mabuhay) — MALACANANG on Wednesday assured that no single centavo from government funds will be spent for the campaign operations of Team PNoy.

Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said while President Benigno S. Aquino III earlier pledged to actively campaign for Team Pnoy’s senatorial candidates, he will not be using government money and resources noting that his decision to join the campaign trail “involve governance.”

“The presence of the President will involve governance in all things that he does,” Lacierda said at a press briefing in Malacanang.

“Those are events of the President. You cover them regardless of whatever the President does…that’s part of the President’s work as a president and, in furtherance of his agenda, this is part of those measures that the President would like to do. And part of this pushing forth the agenda of the President is to campaign for the people he wants elected,” he added.

The Palace official also defended the presence of several Cabinet secretaries in political sorties saying that they are allowed to campaign and support political candidates.

“Let’s take it two-fold: legally, there is no prohibition. The Supreme Court has already rendered a decision on that. That being alter-egos of the President, we are allowed—and being political appointees—we are allowed to campaign and there is no prohibition with that aspect,” Lacierda said.

“On governance, we need the senatoriables—the people that the President has chosen—to help us in reform measures. So that’s the reason why we believe in the candidates of the President. We stand side by side with the senatoriables of the President and so we believe that we are in a position to also convince our countrymen the need to elect the 12 chosen candidates of the President,” he further said.

Lacierda also said that it is part of the job of Cabinet secretaries to accompany the President depending on the event.

He clarified, however, that the expenses of officials who are not members of the Liberal Party will not be shouldered by the administration party.

“Ang may sagot po, ang Liberal Party—ang may mga gastusin po. Walang gagastusing pera ng gobyerno dito sa kampanya,” he stressed.

Malacanang, likewise, assured that the President’s duties in running state affairs will not be affected while campaigning for the Team PNoy candidates.

President Aquino formally endorsed the 12 senatorial candidates of Team PNoy during the proclamation rally at the historic Plaza Miranda, in Quiapo, Manila on Tuesday.

They are Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino, Senate Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano, Senator Francis Escudero, former Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros, Senator Loren Legarda, former Senators Jamby Madrigal and Ramon Magsaysay Jr., Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, former Las PiñasRepresentative Cynthia Villar and former Movie Review Board Chair Grace Poe-Llamanzares.

President Aquino said he personally selected the people who will comprise the administration’s coalition team believing that they will be able to push forward the government’s reform agenda. (MNS)

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