CNN Philippines : Bongbong Marcos: Issuing 'emergency alerts' brings no advantage to me

7 October 2021

By CNN Philippines

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 7)— Presidential aspirant Bongbong Marcos on Thursday denied his team had a hand in the emergency mobile alerts that were sent out to the public during the filing of his candidacy, noting it only brings him disadvantage ahead of the 2022 polls.

"Beyond illegality, if you didn't think about it in political terms, this is of no advantage to me. This is a disadvantage to me. Why would I do such a thing?" Marcos told CNN Philippines' The Source.

Marcos' camp already said on Wednesday that the former senator also received a similar notification of what seemed to be a promotion of his presidential bid with the hashtag #BBM2022.

Marcos said he also ordered his team to ask around whether his supporters were behind the stunt, but he was told they had nothing to do with it.

"Sabi ko, 'bakit ako?' I immediately asked, 'I hope we have nothing to do with this. Tanong mo nga sa mga kasamahan natin. Ginawa ba nila ito? Dahil hindi tama ito.'"

[Translation: I told me team, 'why me?' I immediately asked, 'I hope we had nothing to do with this. Can you ask our supporters? Were they behind this? Because this is not right.]

Marcos said he is also watching and waiting for the results from the ongoing investigation of the National Telecommunications Commission.

NTC Deputy Commissioner Edgardo Cabarios said there's a possibility the text alerts came from "portable cell sites," but noted that the probe might take some time to confirm this.

Under the Free Mobile Disaster Alerts Act, only government agencies such as the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration or PAGASA, and the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology or Phivolcs are mandated to send out disaster alerts through mobile phone service providers.

The Commission on Elections previously said that using an alert system "for anything other than emergencies" is "ill-advised." He said appropriate government agencies will determine whether those behind the stunt would be criminally liable.