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Businessmen, Arroyo allies bankrolled Estrada presidential bid

By Kristine L. Alave
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 20:12:00 06/23/2010

Filed Under: Eleksyon 2010

MANILA, Philippines?The country's influential businessmen and allies of the Arroyo administration heavily financed the second presidential campaign of deposed president Joseph Estrada, whose bid cost P235.5 million, documents from the Commission on Elections said.

On the other hand, Estrada's party-mate, Vice-President-elect Jejomar Binay, received P231 million in donations for his first stab for the vice-presidency.

Majority of the contributions for Binay, the outgoing Makati City mayor, came in five and six figures, compared to the millions of pesos funneled to other campaigns. Binay only spent P218 million for his successful bid.

Candidates who ran for national offices in the May 10 automated polls were allowed to spend P510 million for their campaigns, according to election laws. They have until Thursday to submit their statement of expenditures to the Comelec.

According to Estrada's statement of expenditures, his May 2010 presidential campaign cost him P235.5 million. Of that amount, P227.5 million came from various individual and corporate donors.

Estrada, who was elected in 1998 and was ousted in a bloodless revolution in 2001 amid corruption charges, said he used P8 million of his personal funds to fuel his bid.

Estrada came second in the nine-man presidential race, trailing President-Elect Benigno Aquino III, who spent about P400 million for his campaign.

Senator Manuel Villar, the presidential candidate of the Nacionalista Party, spent P430 million for his bid, the highest amount so far. He came in third in the race.

There were 24 financiers to the Estrada team. According to Comelec records, Estrada's family was the biggest donor in his campaign, with a P20-million largesse. Estrada's 23 other donors read like a list of who's who in Philippine business.

Enrique Razon, an Arroyo ally and chairman of the International Container Terminal Services Inc., contributed P15 million to the Estrada campaign. Aside from owning the country's major ports, Razon also has interests in energy, mining, and casino industries.

In 2007, Razon was implicated in the $329-million scuttled national broadband network deal with Chinese firm ZTE Corp. Razon has denied involvement in the deal that almost caused the ouster of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Aside from Razon, those who bestowed P15 million to the Estrada team included Jaime Dy, Antonio Evangelista, and Jorge Antonio.

Meralco Chief Executive Officer and PLDT Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan and plastics manufacturer William Gatchalian both gave P10 million to the ousted president.

Real estate firm Megaworld executive Andrew Tan gave P12 million each. Jose Yap also sent P12 million.

Department store SM Shoemart, which is owned by tycoon Henry Sy, and pharmaceutical company United Laboratories Inc. contributed P10 million each.

Ortigas Co. Ltd, which owns Tiendesitas and Greenhills Shopping Center, sent P4 million to Estrada. Eduardo Gaisano, a mall owner, gave P5 million.

Nearly half of Estrada's campaign money was used for radio and television advertisements, his disclosure said. The former president said he spent P112.5 million for radio and television promotional materials, his records said.

The Estrada team shelled P49.5 million for printed campaign materials, while P41.25 million were used for traveling and sortie expenses, documents said. The Estrada campaign spent P4.5 million for communication and freight deliveries.

Copyright 2015 Philippine Daily Inquirer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.



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