Group’s GCs couldn’t have been for vote-buying
I read with much disappointment Ramon Tulfo’s column titled “Abusive cops, be warned” (Metro, Inquirer, 4/16/13). Tulfo said that Kaya Natin! Movement for Good Governance and Ethical Leadership has been engaging in “vote-buying” through its Estudyante Education Program which gives out National Bookstore gift certificates (GCs) to public high school students in Quezon City. The program is part of our ongoing efforts to help our youth access quality education.
For Tulfo’s and everybody’s information, this initiative of providing much-needed educational materials and school supplies has been going on every year, election year or not, in partnership with the office of Rep. Bolet
Banal of Quezon City, since 2010 yet. In short, this is a regular educational assistance program. Through this program, we have helped thousands of public high school students.
Also, the distribution of the gift certificates started on March 7, 2013. On the other hand, the official endorsement of Kaya Natin’s senatorial candidates was made only two weeks later, or on March 20. How could we have used the gift certificates for “vote-buying” when on March 7 we didn’t even know whom to endorse, as we didn’t know yet who were going to run for the Senate? If we really wanted to use this project to buy votes and influence voters, then we would have started distributing the gift certificates right after announcing our official endorsement.
Finally, if one looks at the gift certificates we have given out, not one of them contains the names of the four Kaya Natin-endorsed candidates or the Team PNoy logo.
I hope this will help clarify Tulfo’s allegations against our organization. I am actually an avid follower of his hard-hitting columns and I admire him for his courage to fight for the rights of innocent individuals. I just wish that he should have heard our side of the story before making his conclusions on this issue.
—HARVEY S. KEH, lead convenor,
Kaya Natin! Movement for
Good Governance and Ethical Leadership,
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