SILAY CITY, Negros Occidental – Administration standard-bearer Mar Roxas said yesterday here that he paid for the use of the private plane which has he has been using in his provincial sorties.
“To those who have been asking about the airplane, my answer is very simple: It’s not for free, it’s not in exchange for any favor, and I did not take it as a favor from somebody,” Roxas told reporters after the proclamation rally here.
“I paid for it (rental),” he emphasized.
And not only he did pay for the airplane rental, Roxas assured the public that the fund he used and has been using for the airplane is a clean money.
Roxas statement was in reaction to the report that he is a protector of illegal mining since the owner of the plane he has been using is a businessman engaged in mining activities in Mindanao.
The Liberal Party standard-bearer, however, admitted that businessman Eric Gutierrez is indeed a friend of his for a long time now.
“I know him and he is my friend. As far as a I know, he is a winner in contest both international and local in terms of good management of his company,” said Roxas.
“He is my friend so what’s wrong with it?” he asked.
Rep. Barry Gutierrez, LP spokesman for campaign, said that private plane that Roxas as been using is being leased to the camp of the LP standard bearer.
In fact, he said they could immediately show the lease agreement and the receipt of the payment for the private plane rental.
“We are very ready to show the receipts, we have been declaring them to the Commission on Elections. WE have nothing to hide,” said Gutierrez.
Roxas for his part challenged other presidential candidates to declare the owners and status of the private planes and choppers that they have been also using in their campaign sorties.