‘Igalang naman’: Aiko Melendez, Julian Trono draw flak for TikTok video shot in QC session hall

June 20, 2023 - 11:43 AM
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Screengrabs of TikTok videos of Aiko Melendez and other Quezon City officials before the regular session at the session hall on June 19, 2023 (@aikomelendez2015/TikTok)

Actress turned-politician Aiko Melendez uploaded TikTok videos that showed her and other officials dancing while inside the Quezon City session hall.

Aiko was elected Quezon City councilor for District 5.

In her TikTok account, she uploaded two separate videos that showed her and her colleagues dancing to Mariah Carey’s “Touch My Body” before the official session started on June 19 at the Quezon City Hall legislative building.

In one video, Aiko was joined by Julian Trono, a young Filipino dancer-actor who now serves as the chairman of Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) in Quezon City.

“With SK Federation President for QC councilor @Julian Trono fun times before the session,” Aiko wrote with a laughing emoji.

@aikomelendez2015 With Sk Federation President for QC councilor @Julian Trono ♬ Touch My Body – Mariah Carey

In another video, Aiko was joined by her colleagues:

  • Dorothy Delarmente – QC Councilor District 1
  • Wency Lagumbay – QC Councilor District 3
  • Chuckie Antonio – QC Councilor District 3

“With our majority floor leader Dorothy Delarmente and konsis @Chuckieantonio @WencyLagumbay Before session,” the “Wildflower” star said in the caption.

@aikomelendez2015 With our majority floor leader Dorothy Delarmente and konsis @Chuckieantonio @WencyLagumbay ♬ Touch My Body – Mariah Carey

These were entries to a dance challenge on the video-sharing service. This audio of Mariah’s hit single was used in over 125,000 videos on the application.

Criticisms vs TikTok videos

The Quezon City government held its 35th Regular Session on that day. Aiko, Julian and other councilors in the videos attended this meeting.

The live stream of this activity can still be streamed on the Facebook account of Quezon City Vice Mayor Gian Sotto here 35th Regular Session of the 22nd Quezon City Council with Vice Mayor Gian G. Sotto as Presiding Officer.

Social media users, including TikTok users, criticized Aiko and the other public officials for creating these videos while inside the plenary room.

Development worker Deo Enalpe perceived their actions as disrespectful to the institution. Enalpe also uploaded the video of Aiko and Julian on his Twitter account.

“Anong nagyayari sa mga politicians ngayon? Wala namang problema mag Tiktok — pero sana igalang naman yung session hall,” Deo tweeted.

“Lugar po ‘yan para gumawa ng batas hindi po para mag tiktok. Respeto naman po sana, Councilor Aiko Melendez and SK President Julian Trono,” he added.

Other Filipinos also called out Aiko. They deemed it unbecoming for a public official to perform TikTok dances before a city council session.

“Aiko Melendez, it’s not about working hard but your inappropriate behavior as an elected public official. If you can’t respect your office, nag-vlog ka na lang sana,” a Twitter user said.

Rules on ethics and conduct

The Carlos Albert Hall is the session hall where city councilors conduct their official meetings, conventions and other activities upon approval by the Vice Mayor’s Office.

It was also stated that any recording is not allowed unless approved by the Vice Mayor’s Office.

“Photo, video and audio recordings are not allowed inside the Session Hall unless consent has been secured from the Office of the Vice Mayor,” the rules on the website reads.

Moreover, public decorum is also required for individuals who are inside the room.

“PROPER DECORUM shall be strictly observed inside the Session Hall. Individuals wearing slippers, sandals, short pants, t-shirts, and provocative clothes shall not be allowed to enter the Hall. Smoking, eating, drinking, sleeping and reading newspapers or magazines are strictly prohibited,” the rules stated.

“Silence shall be strictly observed in the gallery. Applauding or clapping of hands, booing or shouting shall be strictly prohibited at all times. Cellular phones, beepers and other electronic devices shall be turned off or must be put in silent mode before entering the Session Hall,” it added.

Meanwhile, under the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, also known as Republic Act 6713, public officials and employees are expected to perform their duties “with the highest degree of excellence, professionalism, intelligence and skill.”

“They shall enter public service with utmost devotion and dedication to duty. They shall endeavor to discourage wrong perceptions of their roles as dispensers or peddlers of undue patronage,” Section 4 of the law reads.

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