An apparent campaign jingle of Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. was played at an event of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines in Botolan, Zambales, sparking criticism from a scout coordinator.
Scout coordinator Janus Munar of Sta. Rosa, Laguna shared a video on Facebook of a campaign jingle being played during the camping activities of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines.
They were celebrating the 100 years of Rover Scouting as attended by members of the 13th National Rover Moot for Luzon from August 26 to 31 held in Camp Kainomayan.
In the middle of camping activities, a public official identified as Botolan Mayor Doris “Bing” Maniquiz Jeresano, urged the attendees to vote for Roque in the 2019 midterm elections.
She exclaimed, “Si Nanay, si tatay, si kuya, si ate, si pinsan, si tiyahin. Senador na po si Harry Roque!”
Posted by Janus Munar on Thursday, August 30, 2018
The endorsement in the middle of the camping event was condemned on social media, with Munar saying that Boy Scout members are not supposed to “bring any political name in the brotherhood.”
He wrote in the caption, “We are Boy Scouts! We know no political parties! We don’t bring politics inside scouting, worse in the camp! We don’t bring any political name in the brotherhood!”
“This is so wrong! You are the spokesperson of the president and you should hold the highest standard in following rules in politics! Do you think it is right to campaign this early? And you already have your jingle! Wow!”
According to a previous report, instances of early campaigning is not deemed illegal as long as the certificate of candidacy has not yet been filed for that position. The filing for the 2019 midterm elections is expected to be in October of this year.
Meanwhile, the presidential spokesperson has expressed his desire to run as a senator but cited that he lacked financial resources.
Roque said in an interview, “Do I want to run? Yes, I do but the reality is 14 months from now, you need P500 million. That’s minimum. I don’t have the money.”
As of the moment, however, he is included in Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan’s tentative list of “friends.”
The latest survey for 2019 on preference for senators released by Pulse Asia does not include Roque.
The Boy Scouts of the Philippines was created through RA 7278, previously known as Commonwealth Act 111, during former President Manuel Quezon’s term.
It is supposed to teach boys “to do useful things for themselves and others” and train them in scoutcraft.
They are also expected to imbibe values like patriotism, civic consciousness, responsibility, courage, self-reliance, discipline, kindred virtues and moral values of any kind.
The organization used to be private but it’s now considered a “government controlled corporation” by virtue of the Supreme Court in 2011.
While they are not a private entity anymore, nowhere does it say in their vision and mission credo that they are supposed to adhere to a political affiliation or be associated with any politician.
According to their website, Boy Scouts of the Philippines aims “to inculcate in our Scouts love of God, country and fellowmen; to prepare the youth for responsible leadership; and to contribute to nation-building according to the ideals, principles and programs of Scouting.”