Comelec employee in hot water for social media post
Reelected Ilocos Norte representative Rodolfo Fariñas confronted an employee of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Wednesday over the latter’s post on Facebook, allegedly depicting him as a “turncoat.”
Fariñas said his children showed him the Facebook post of Kris Ablan on Tuesday, which reads: “So far, my district representative is the first to jump ship to the PDP-Laban.”
PDP-Laban is a political group now being headed by presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.
“So it will make it appear that the Comelec is involved in partisan political activity because he (Ablan) is an employee of the Comelec which is the constitutional body that should be impartial and insulated from politics,” Fariñas said during the hearing of the Commission on Appointments.
The lawmaker said Ablan made another post on his Facebook wall, this time — his picture with former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, who ran for president but lost to Duterte in the May 9 elections.
“Parang pinapakita n’ya, balimbing ‘yung congressman n’ya (It’s like he’s implying that his congressman is a turncoat),” Fariñas said.
“You know hijo, I campaigned for Mar Roxas, but ano magagawa ko bilib sila (PDP-Laban) sa akin e. So nanalo ‘yung bagong administration, they came to me, they offered me the position of Majority Leader of the House of Representatives kasi siguro akala nila makakatulong ako du’n and if you’re not aware of politics, to be the Majority Leader you have to be with the party of speaker so ininvite nila ako.”
(You know, young man, I campaigned for Mar Roxas, but what can I do if PDP-Laban believes in me? So there’s a new administration, they came to me, they offered me the position of Majority Leader of the House of Representatives because they probably think that I could be of help, and if you’re not aware of politics, to be the Majority Leader you have to be with the party of speaker so they invited me.)
“Imagine, even if I didn’t support them, they still invited me? I should be honored but now, you came out with a malicious post..?” the lawmaker added.
Fariñas also took offense on Ablan’s wife’s comment on the same Facebook post, allegedly describing the lawmaker as a known “tuta” (puppet) of President Benigno Aquino and “instrumental to wreaking havoc in the judiciary years back, which gave him more PDAF.” He did not elaborate.
PDAF is priority development assistance fund also known as lawmakers’ pork barrel, which was later declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.
Fariñas said the wife’s statement was libelous.
“Is that part of your function in the Comelec to be making comments about duly elected officials of the land?” he asked
“No, Mr. Chair, not part of my functions…” Ablan said.
But the lawmaker went on and threatened to also post on Ablan’s Facebook wall about the PDAF of latter’s father amounting to P30 million, which he said was allegedly converted into cash.
“Ito hindi ko sinasabi, pero kayo na rin ang nag umpisa. Yung P30 million na PDAF n’ya, kinonvert nya into cash. Ngayon i po post ko sa page mo, hindi ko na sana sasabihin ‘yun dahil nahihiya ako sa daddy mo pero you can always go check and file cases against me dahil transparent naman tayo,” he said.
(You stared this. I tell you, he converted his PDAF into cash. I can post this on your page, but I won’t because I will be embarrassed for your father, but you can always go check and file cases against me since I have been very transparent.)
“You are much younger than me, show me respect also as the duly elected representative of our district. Don’t make it appear na akoy nagbabalimbing (that I am being a turncoat).”
Fariñas explained that while he supported Roxas during the last elections, he has to give his support to the incoming president.
“You should not inject motives like kami ay balimbing ito ay nag-Roxas (we are being a turncoat just because we supported Roxas)…and you’re in the Comelec, you should be the last to be making such comments. Pwede (Can you do it)? Otherwise, I’ll file a case against you…”
Ablan apologized again to the lawmaker.
“I accept your apology but I will still post in you page the PDAF of your father, P30 million that went to his private account,” Fariñas added. IDL