Actress Bela Padilla reminded her fellow Filipinos to be vigilant in voting for aspiring public officials after learning that some of “the most random of random people” are running.
The London-based actress on Thursday was dismayed to find out through the X (formerly Twitter) platform that some TikTok content creators involved in the smear campaign against Maggie Wilson are running in the 2023 Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) polls.
The SK elections, simultaneous with the 2023 Barangay elections, will be held on October 30.
The SK is a barangay youth council dedicated to the development and promotion of programs and activities that cater to the youth’s needs. These include holding fund-raising activities and creating committees needed to carry out the programs.
Aspirants must be at least 18 years old but not over 24 years old.
Weeks before the polls, Bela reminded the public that “being ‘nice’” and giving away money should not be a basis for voting in the upcoming polls.
“Sad to open this platform to see that the most random of random people are now running for office. Please be vigilant. Even if people are ‘nice,’ and they give away money, that has never been what it takes to have good governance,” the actress said with a sad face emoji.
“Being nice is different from kindness — kindness to know you shouldn’t run for office,” she added.
Connection to Maggie Wilson smear campaign
Prior to that, Bela had commented on a post of an economist who shared that one of the TikTok users involved in portraying Maggie negatively is reportedly running for a post in the Sanggunian Kabataan in Tanza, Cavite.
Economist JC Punongbayan on Wednesday shared a list of SK candidates in Barangay Mulawin, which included Rolyn Jay Battad.
Bela saw his post and commented: “Isn’t this guy one of the influencers who said sorry for peddling fake news? (melting face emoji) mga taga Tanza… pakatatandaan! (laughing-with-tears emoji)”
Rolyn was the same “social media influencer” who released an apology video following his involvement in the smear campaign against Maggie and her company.
He was also the same individual who went viral for claiming that he was paid to promote former vice president Leni Robredo for the 2022 presidential elections.
Several people actively involved in her campaign had denied the claims and stressed that the movement was voluntary and did not have monetary compensation at all.
Punongbayan also said that Rolyn was among those “parroting government lines” online.
Apart from him, other TikTok users with the same activities reportedly include Ronjoy Del Pilar and Rozelle Familara.
Campaign vs. Maggie
Last month, Maggie exposed details of the smear campaign against her on TikTok, which involved users getting a “talent fee” of P8,000 each.
“I’ve been in the industry long enough to have been called every name in the book. Nothing new,” she said last month.
“On that note: It’s pretty obvious that you guys did a ‘story’ con. Props to all of you for memorising the script, it’s pretty consistent. Although, one of you [spelled’ my name wrong. It’s MAGGIE and not MAJIE. The hashtags and ‘sponsored’ tag for the campaign really gave it away. Try better next time,” Maggie added.
Rolyn was among those included in the smear campaign.
The former beauty queen claimed that her estranged husband’s partner was the one who sent the TikTok users screenshots that were supposedly used in the videos against her.