Aquino’s ex-date donates pre-school classroom in Bago City
BACOLOD CITY, Negros Occidental, Philippines—Ma. Elena “Len” Lopez, the Negrense stockbroker formerly linked to President Aquino, donated a pre-school classroom in Bago City through a foundation led by the President’s sister Pinky Aquino Abellada on Wednesday.
“She’s a friend. I’m very grateful to her because when she heard about the project she donated her personal funds for the classroom,” Abellada said.
“I informed Noy (President Aquino) that Len is so good. She gave a classroom for this project and he is most grateful for that,” she added.
When asked about her relationship with the President, Lopez said “I’m just a friend.”
In December 2010, the President’s youngest sister Kris Aquino confirmed over ABS-CBN that he was dating Lopez of Deutsche Bank. But in April, it was reported that they had parted ways.
Lopez is the daughter of the late Joseph Lopez, a Negrense sugar planter, and Sonia Recto, and is said to be the best friend of Luli Arroyo-Bernas, daughter of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
She studied at St. Scholastica’s Academy in Bacolod and went to college at Ateneo de Manila.
Lopez donated a pre-school classroom to the Jalandoon Sison Elementary School in Barangay Manlingin in Bago City, through the Aklat Gabay Aruga Tungo sa Pag-angat at Pag-asa (AGAPP) Foundation, in memory of her father who died of cancer, Abellada said.
The San Miguel Corp. Foundation represented by John de Guzman also donated one pre-school classroom at the Jalandoon Sison Elementary School while the two others at the Vista Alegre Elementary School at Vista Alegre, Bacolod City, were donated by the San Miguel Brewery Bacolod represented by its manager Noel Villanueva.
The classrooms were constructed from private sector donations solicited by AGAPP and built under the supervision of the Negrense Volunteers for Change Foundation Inc. headed by Millie Kilayko.
The classrooms are built according to the design and color specifications of AGAPP and come equipped with tables and chairs, book shelves, cubbyholes, books and learning materials with special education training for teachers.
Abellada said that by the end of June, her foundation would have built 109 classrooms. She added that the foundation was targeting to build another 150 classrooms from July to June of next year.
In Negros Occidental, they have donated eight classrooms, she said, adding that she hoped they could do more in the province.
Abellada said she and her sisters would do whatever they could to help their brother, President Aquino, to succeed.
She also gave her brother a rating of 90 to 95 for his first year performance because she knew how hard he worked.
Abellada then pointed out that although the President has been criticized domestically, international firms like Moody’s, Fitch and Standard & Poor’s have all given the country improved ratings under her brother’s leadership.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has also praised the job of the current administration in curbing human trafficking, said Abellada.
“I tell people to have a little patience because to straighten things out is very, very hard. The President can’t change everything overnight,” Abellada said, noting that her brother faced many obstacles when he assumed the presidency.
“I know that President Aquino is just focused on his job. His popularity can go up and down but I know his focus is on the right place. If seven out of ten people still believe in you, I think that is really, really high,” she added.
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