Press Release
May 28, 2008

Villar expresses respect for colleagues on product endorsements

Senate President Manny Villar clarified that he was not aiming the guns at his colleagues when he "agreed" to the need to study possible guidelines on product endorsements by government leaders.

Villar recalled that when he was asked in a radio interview about the need to put in place guidelines on endorsements of products by senators which became the basis of the newspaper report, he replied: "Maaring mangyari din iyan at ito ay bagay na dapat pag-aralang mabuti. Siguro dapat ay maging maingat din tayo sa mga ganitong bagay. Agree ako na magkaroon ng rules sa mga bagay na ito at ito siguro ay pwedeng pag-aralan at mag-propose kung ano ang dapat na regulasyon dito."

Villar himself has an ongoing advertisement in television regarding an OFW helpline aimed at assisting overseas workers in danger or in need of help. Last month, he was able to help repatriate at least 15 maltreated overseas workers, six of whom were minors, from the Middle East. Earlier, he also endorsed Hapee toothpaste, a low-priced Filipino product catering to the masses.

The Senate President underscored, "The senators who have appeared in the ads are intelligent enough to accept or reject endorsement offers and discern the pros and cons of their actions."

"As Senate President, I would like to reiterate that I uphold the tradition of respecting our fellow senators and their independence not only with regard to activities in the Senate but also their personal advocacies which they bring to the grassroots level."

"Most importantly, it is the Filipino people who shall make the ultimate judgment on the propriety, decency and help provided by the said advertisements," said Villar.

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