Philippine mayor uses custom-made gold toy gun to ‘shoot’ money at constituents

Philippine mayor uses custom-made gold toy gun to ‘shoot’ money at constituents
Luis ‘Chavit’ Singson shoots money at crowds of thrilled people rushing to take as many bills as they can

A video of a Philippine mayor “shooting” peso bills from a gold-plated toy gun onto a thrilled crowd has gone viral on social media.

Luis “Chavit” Singson shared a video on Facebook on Tuesday in which he can be seen topping up the toy gun with several 100-peso (£1.4) and 500-peso (£7.2) money bills.

The businessman-politician from Philippines’ Narvacan municipality in Ilocos Sur province can then be seen shooting money into the air to several crowds of thrilled people rushing to grab as many bills as they can, violating social-distancing norms.

Most of the people in the crowd, including Mr Singson, are not wearing masks, attracting concerns about distancing and other health protocols amid the Covid pandemic.

The video posted on his official Facebook account has since collected more than 3 million views, with more than 70,000 likes and has been shared more than 40,000 times.

Some users praised the mayor by giving him Christmas wishes.

“That’s the man with the golden heart, Mayor Chavit Singson. He looks after his people and is very humble,” wrote a user in the comments.

“We love you sir,” wrote another user.

Not all users commenting on the video, however, were happy with the mayor’s actions.

“How I wish for a more orderly Christmas gift distribution! Have you forgotten Covid spreader event (sic),” wrote one user.

“When art transcends life… This gives me Squid Game vibes minus the deaths… Poor people fighting over money for the entertainment of the rich,” wrote another.

“This is not nice I feel like they make fun for poor people, why not put in envelope and give it to them one by one,” suggested another user.

Mr Singson defended his actions, saying he only wanted to make people happy because it was Christmas.

“It was meant only to make people happy, especially since it’s Christmas. If people are happy, I am, too,” he said in an interview in the Filipino language, according to The Straits Times newspaper.

Jenny Macatiag, who looks after Mr Singson’s media and public relations, said the mayor has always distributed money like this.

In 2019, when Mr Singson was running for mayor of Narvacan, he had uploaded a similar video of himself shooting money at ecstatic crowds in a crowded marketplace.

The video showed a montage of a bustling marketplace of happy crowds meeting Mr Singson and slick aerial shots of people grabbing peso bills in the air in slow motion.

This time, the mayor dismissed the perception of the video as a campaign gimmick as he said he was not seeking any posts in the May 2022 elections.

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