Lakas senatorial bets defend Pichay over funds

Lakas senatorial bets defend Pichay over funds
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—Senatorial candidate Silvestre Bello III Wednesday sought an end to talk of lack of campaign funds for candidates of the Lakas-Kampi-CMD, stressing the issue of meager resources is only natural during any elections.

“There’s no election where candidates are not short of funds because campaign expenses are high,” said Bello during an interview aired over radio dzRH.

Bello made the remarks to belie reports alleging that newly installed Lakas-Kampi-CMD chairperson Amelita Villarosa was blaming the party’s senatorial campaign manager, Prospero “Butch” Pichay, for the current shortage in funding for their campaigns.

Bello said such reports were just part of the black propaganda against Lakas-Kampi-CMD to project disarray in the ruling party.

“We in Lakas will not dignify issues like this, including those involving Gibo (Lakas presidential candidate Gilbert Teodoro). You should see the people’s warm welcome for Gibo during the sorties,” said Bello, who along with Teodoro and fellow Lakas-Kampi-CMD senatorial candidates, started his Bicol campaign in Albay on Monday and then Camarines Sur on Tuesday, before proceeding to sorties in Bataan and Pampanga Wednesday.

Bello said the senatorial candidates’ faith and confidence in Pichay as their campaign manager remained unaffected by the talk of meager fund support from the party.

“Butch has always been very transparent and caring of us. It’s unfair to blame him for the shortage of campaign funds. He has even been shelling out his personal money to help us.”

Joining him in Pichay’s defense was fellow party senatorial candidate and constitutional lawyer Raul Lambino, who likewise deplored what he called the malicious news story regarding the party finances.

He said Pichay had been transparent regarding the amount of funding given by the party for six-man senate slate’s expenses.

“We are expressing our common and steady faith in Butch Pichay. He has not held back on the funding allocated for our campaign by the party, and he has even gone to the extent of advancing his own funds just to ensure that our campaigns continue chugging along until the party can bring in the second tranche for the home-stretch,” said Lambino.

Earlier, Lambino opened up to the media regarding the lack of party funding for the senatorial campaigns. However, the former Constitutional Commissioner said he had taken pains to point out that Pichay had been very supportive.

Pichay in a separate interview over dzMM said only P90 million has so far been released by the party for the campaign of six senatorial candidates, which is not even enough to fund the campaign of one congressional candidate whose expenses could reach more than P100 million.

The amount was paid to TV networks for ads and for the printing of streamers, posters and tarpaulins of the candidates. “But it’s not enough even for one senatorial candidate, more so for six.”

Pichay said candidates should not expect the party to fund their entire campaign.

“If you run, should have your own logistics. You should be ready.”

Karen Ang

A plebeian who is trying to make small changes in this world.