Aquino sisters among Akbayan campaign donors in 2010-A A +A
Thursday, October 25, 2012
MANILA (Updated 5:29 p.m.) -- While Akbayan Citizens' Action Party (Akbayan) denies it is receiving funds from the Aquino government, it cannot do so when it comes to the sisters of President Benigno Aquino III.
The Statement of Election Contributions and Expenditures (SECE) of the party named the Aquino sisters as among its top supporters in the 2010 elections.
A total of P14 million was sourced by Akbayan from the Aquino sisters, Kris, Viel, and Ballsy based on the statement filed at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) two years ago.
Multimedia Star Kris Aquino (Kristina Bernadette Aquino-Yap in real life) contributed P10 million, while Victoria "Viel" Aquino-Dee, and Ma. Elena "Ballsy" Aquino-Cruz, gave P2 million each.
According to its SECE, Akbayan received a total contribution of P112,183,000 in 2010 while its total expenses amounted to P112,174,008.70.
Malacañang meanwhile defended the Presidential sisters on their supposed donation to the campaign funds of the party-list group.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the Palace sees nothing wrong with the actions of the three sisters of the President.
"We have a democratic process. The sisters are, and continue up to this day as, private citizens," Lacierda said.
"They have a right to contribute to a group they feel which would also support the President's program of anti-corruption and poverty alleviation," he added.
Lacierda said the move of the sisters of Aquino should not become an issue since they have the right to contribute to any party-list they wish to support.
"It should not come as a surprise being private citizens that they choose to support groups which are supportive of the advocacies of the President," he said.
Republic Act 7166 requires all candidates in elections to file "the full, true, and itemized" statement of all contributions and expenditures in connection with the elections.
To recall, petitions have been filed at the Comelec for the disqualification of Akbayan with its supposed close alliance with the Aquino administration being used as the main ground against them.
Akbayan retorted saying they only enjoy the government's support being a coalition partner but are not receiving any funding from the administration.
Malacanang believed that the report on donations to Akbayan would not affect the process of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) in the disqualification of party-list groups from the 2013 midterm polls.
"The Comelec should apply the rules as how the lawmakers envisioned the party list groups to be. So that should not be a factor there. And I would expect Comelec to rule on each and every party list group with the same standard as they are doing now," Lacierda said.
He added that campaign contributors should not matter in the decision of the Comelec on which party-list to disqualify but it should evaluate which group truly represents the marginalized sector.
"It's not a question of who your supporters are. It's a question of what you stand for and do you really genuinely represent the marginalized sector," the Palace spokesman said. (HDT/Jill Beltran/Sunnex)