The wife of Philippine Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Adnan Alonto is being criticized on social media for campaigning for Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in the Middle Eastern country and resorting to a sexist remark to make her pitch.
A video posted on Twitter showed Mrs. Alonto at an event for Marcos in Saudi Arabia urging Filipinos cast their votes.
“Hindi ko alam kung ilan sa inyo ang registered voters. Hihingin ko lang sa inyo, please go out and cast your vote para hindi masayang,” she said.
Mrs. Alonto then remarked that Filipinas should seduce their bosses if that’s what it would take to cast their votes.
“Kung kailangan niyong magpaalam sa mga amo ninyo… ‘Yung mga chicks diyan, landian niyo na mga amo ninyo,” she said.
Mrs. Alonto said she’s not forcing Filipinos in Saudi Arabia to vote for Marcos but proceeded to make a pitch for him anyway.
“Hindi ko po hinihiling na suportahan ninyo ang kandidato ko dahil nasa sa inyo po ‘yun. That’s your right to choose, the candidates you’d like to vote for. Pero kung tatanungin niyo ako sino iboboto ko, nandito po eh: nakasulat sa t-shirt ko,” she said, flashing her t-shirt with the name of Marcos and his running mate, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.
Senatorial candidate Neri Colmenares called out Mrs. Alonto over her sexist remark.
“She can campaign for her candidate but as the wife of our ambassador to Saudi Arabia, to tell our women OFWs, who she called ‘chicks,’ to ‘landiin n’yo ang amo n’yo’ to get permission to vote is downright wrong. Ang daming kaso ng rape at sexual harassment sa ating mga OFWs dyan,” Colmenares tweeted.
Abogado Emil Marañon III called Mrs. Alonto’s speech a “threat to neutrality.”
“Let us remember that Saudi Arabia has 282,605 registered overseas Filipino voters, ranking second in terms of the most number of voters. With this action, neutrality can no longer be expected in the voting process. Ambassador Alonto and wife should be recalled by the DFA,” he tweeted.
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Saturday (March 5) said it has ordered Alonto to return to the Philippines after the video of his wife campaigning for Marcos circulated online.