This is the viral moment a Philippine mayor shoots banknotes at cheering locals from a golden gun, sparking outrage on social media.
Luis ‘Chavit’ Singson, 80, the mayor of the municipality of Narvacan in the Philippine province of Ilocos Sur, shared the video on his Facebook page on 28th December where it went viral with 3.3 million views.
The footage shows the elderly mayor firing banknotes at cheering residents from a golden gun that would not look out of place in a James Bond film.
Singson, a prominent figure in Philippine politics, used a custom-made toy gun to shoot the cash at locals.
The ‘Mayor with the Golden Gun’ reportedly fired PHP 500 (GBP 7.25) and PHP 100 (GBP 1.45) banknotes at the screaming crowd.
However, many netizens criticised the official after the video went viral, claiming it was a publicity stunt and pointing out he was not wearing a face mask.
Social media users also slammed the manner of the cash giveaway in the face of rising poverty caused by COVID-19 restrictions.
On 17th December, Philippine officials said nearly four million people have been pushed into poverty in the first half of 2021 due to lockdown measures.
One netizen commented: “This is not nice. I feel like they are making fun of poor people. Why not put in envelope and give it to them one by one?”
The elderly mayor responded by insisting he has no plans to stand for re-election in the May elections, adding that he was merely being generous over the festive period.
Singson said: “It was meant only to make people happy, especially as it’s Christmas. If people are happy, I am, too.”