|Ma. Elena Aquino-Cruz||2,000,000||3,000,000|
|Anna L. Lopez||250,000||500,000|
Akbayan had around 115 cash donors and had a total of P110 million in donations as reported to Comelec. Aquino meanwhile had 96 donors for a combined P440 million.
Common donors of Akbayan and the President are the Aquino sisters, cousins, the Juicos, businessman Gregorio Yu and Daniel Lichauco of the Ninoy and Cory Foundation.
Yu became a trustee of the GSIS board after the 2010 elections and was sworn in on January 11, 2012. Margie Juico meanwhile went on to become the chair of the PCSO. Like the Cojuangco-Aquinos, the Lopas are are also known shareholders of Hacienda Luisita.
Here’s one interesting point. Noynoy’s sister and brother-in-law Victoria Dee and Richard Dee contributed a combined P5,000,000 to Akbayan’s campaign but did not contribute to Noynoy’s presidential bid, at least as far as submissions made by Aquino’s camp to Comelec will show.
Could it be that there’s more to these campaign reports that the parties and candidates are telling us? How much of these reported contributions are real and how much are just for the sake of compliance with Comelec rules? How much of the donations were really intended for Aquino but were being made to appear as donations for Akbayan to circumvent the law.
Malacanang claims there is nothing wrong with private citizens giving donations. Maybe. But these particular donations do undermine the claims of Akbayan that it is a marginalized group. Its donors include the rich and powerful who have close ties with the President and his family. With these huge donations, Akbayan is definitely beholden to the Aquinos.
Now if Akbayan will say that the donations were intended to pay for shared TV ads with Aquino, then this is also unacceptable since this is already a circumvention of the law as stated by Comelec. Aquino wanted to exceed his allowed airtime for TV ads so he charged some airtime to Akbayan through the use of joint TV ads that featured mainly Aquino.
With common donors between them, the ties between Aquino and Akbayan are indeed deeper that previously known. These ties, along with Akbayan’s position in government, make a strong argument that it is no longer marginalized, already being a party in power with much influence and access to resources.
Meanwhile, Aquino’s defense of Akbayan shows that, despite all his claims of a ‘daang matuwid’, this President will tolerate the violations of the partylist law. We know this through Akbayan, the Black and White Movement and other Palace-backed groups.