MANILA – To prove it is serious in prohibiting its officers and staff here and abroad from engaging in partisan political activities, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) has instructed one of its envoys to go home following his wife’s perceived violation of rules.

Philippine Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Adnan Alonto's wife, Jo, was reported to have encouraged the Philippine community in an online meeting to vote while wearing a red shirt bearing the initials of a presidential candidate.

DFA Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public and Cultural Diplomacy, Gonar Musor, said on Saturday the agency is investigating the incident and has instructed Alonto to return to the Philippines for consultations.

"The DFA regularly reminds personnel here and at Foreign Service Posts on the prohibition against engagement, whether directly or indirectly, in any electioneering or partisan political activity. It does not condone acts that go against the Omnibus Election Code, the Overseas Voting Act of 2013 and the Commission on Elections-Civil Service Commission Joint Circular No. 001, series of 2016 [that prohibits partisan activities]," he told reporters in a text message.

In the video which has so far garnered 120,000 views on Twitter, the woman identified as Alonto’s wife can be heard making a disclaimer that she was not asking overseas Filipino workers to vote for her candidate but was merely encouraging them to cast their ballots.

"Hindi ko po hinihiling na suportahan niyo 'yung kandidato ko kasi nasa sa inyo po 'yan. That is your right to choose the candidates that you would like to vote for pero kung tatanungin niyo po ako kung sino ang iboboto ko ay nandito po, nakasulat sa t-shirt ko. Ngayon kung gusto niyo akong samahan, nasa sa inyo 'yun (I am not asking you to support my candidate because that is up to you. That is your right to choose the candidates that you would like to vote but if you will ask me who I will vote for, it's here written on my shirt. If you want to join me, that's up to you)," the woman said, pointing at her shirt with the candidate’s initials.

"Please cast your vote. Do not waste this moment because this might just be, itong pagkakataon na ito' (this opportunity), it might just be the turning point so that we will have another Ilocano president," she added. (PNA)