Who is bankrolling Grace’s campaign?

By Perry Diaz

Grace-Poe-white-shirtWhen Sen. Grace Poe-Llamanzares declared her candidacy for president of the Philippines, she confessed that she didn’t have the organization or the resources to run a presidential campaign. With no political party to provide the resources, manpower, and a nationwide political network — and without tons of moolah, which she admittedly lacks – Grace’s campaign vehicle would be like a Mercedes Benz 500 with a go-kart engine. It wouldn’t be able to move just like a carabao stuck in quicksand.

But the “lady in white” – she loves to wear men’s white shirt in campaign sorties – must have some kind of “voodoo” power, as someone had suggested, to generate billions of pesos for her campaign. But that’s an outlandish notion unless you believe in kulam or witchcraft. And if you don’t believe any of that, a more plausible explanation is that the money is from some mega-rich oligarch who sees in Grace the “perfect puppet” who could easily be influenced once elected. This makes one wonder: Is the government run by oligarchs? If you ask me, my answer is simple: Yes, absolutely!

But you might argue that, just like Uncle Sam the Philippines is a democratic country with democratically elected politicians who are mandated to preserve a government in the image of what U.S. President Abraham Lincoln aptly described in his Gettysburg Address, to wit: “This nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

“Government run like hell…”

Manuel-Quezon-government-run-like-hellWell, the bad news is that our motherland – “Inang Bayan” – has been run just like how the late Philippine Commonwealth President Manuel L. Quezon had envisioned it to be when he said: “I prefer a government run like hell by Filipinos to a government run like heaven by Americans.” That’s what most Filipinos remember to this day. But that was only the first part of what he said. Not many Filipinos recall the second part, which was: “Because, however bad a Filipino government might be, we can always change it.”

Noynoy.6Quezon might not have realized that what he declared then would become the campaign template of politicians seeking the presidency, to wit: Attack the current president and his administration’s standard bearer as bad leaders, and present yourself as the “agent for change.” Indeed, President Benigno Aquino III’s campaign slogan was “Change” or “Pagbabago.” It worked because the voters bought it, hook, line, and sinker.

It is no wonder then that most of the time Filipinos would vote against an incumbent president (or his administration’s candidate) and elect the opposition candidate whom they perceive as the “agent for change.” Indeed, this strategy was influenced by Quezon’s “government run like hell” mantra. All the candidate has to do is make a convincing appeal to the voters’ emotions.

Tip of the iceberg

Danding and Grace

Danding and Grace

But to do an excellent job of convincing the people, the candidate needs lots and lots of money. And this is where the oligarchs, plutocrats, kleptocrats, and influence peddlers come into play. Collectively, they have billions to invest in a candidate. But there are always strings attached; they want huge returns on their “investments.” And this makes the candidate, once elected president, indebted to them for a long time.

How do you think the new president would repay his or her financiers who’d expect the dividends of their investments go as high as tenfold… maybe more? And where do you think an indentured president will get the money to pay these dividends? This is where corruption kicks in and the new president will end up running the government just like Quezon had envisioned… like hell.

It’s a vicious cycle and there is no end to it. However, it can be mitigated. In other words, corruption can be minimized if the new president doesn’t have to kick back huge “dividends,” and conversely, corruption can be maximized if large amounts were donated to his or her campaign. It’s simple mathematics and there are no exceptions; which begs the question: Given that Llamanzares had admitted that she didn’t have the organization and finances to run a presidential campaign, where did she get the funds she spent for “pre-campaign ads”? That’s only the tip of the iceberg. Indeed, more money has to be pumped into her campaign to beat her closest rivals, Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte. Latest reporting data show that she had bought more than 20,000 ad slots – more than any of her rivals — in the six weeks prior to the May 9th elections.

Campaign expenditures

Campaign-Expenses-2016So far, Binay had spent the largest amount for “pre-campaign ads,” which is P1.05 billion followed by Llamanzares at P1.02 billion. Roxas spent P969.2 million and Duterte only spent P146.4 million. Would it then fair to presume that if Binay wins, his administration would be more corrupt than any of his rivals? And since Llamanzares is just a tad below Binay’s “pre-campaign ads” expenditures, would that indicate that her administration would be as corrupt as Binay’s?

And by simple process of elimination, who do you think would have the least corrupt administration? The answer is in the stats, which would indicate that Duterte, having the lowest campaign expenditure, would have the least corrupt administration.


Corruption-in-the-Philippines.2Interestingly, all the candidates had vowed to fight corruption. My reaction is: Hahaha… But what else can they say? Would anyone of them claim that his or her administration would be the “least” corrupt? Of course not! That would be the “kiss of death.”

But the candidates have been trained in the “art of denial.” By denying any knowledge of who donated to their campaigns, it would insulate them from favor-seeking donors. That’s hogwash! Do you think an oligarch who donated… say, P200 million, would want to remain anonymous? On the contrary, donations would open doors of “business” opportunities for the donors.

At the end of the day, it’s a legal and moral responsibility of the candidates to disclose the donors to their campaigns. It’s the right of the people to know who the financiers are, particularly if they are foreigners. This is so the people would know that no foreign entities – friends or enemies of the state alike – are “investing” in presidential campaigns or any campaign for that matter. It’s one thing to be indebted to Filipinos but to be indentured to foreigners smack of treason because you can never tell what those foreigners would demand once you’re elected into office. And this brings to the fore the question: Who is bankrolling Grace Poe-Llamanzares’ campaign?


16 Responses. Have your say.

  1. pat talens says:

    Next month the end of Philippine presidential election is at hand. While pundits of such election continue to brainstorm each candidate’s political credentials—wealthy multimillionaire Loyda Lewis as Roxas surrogate even campaigning for him here in the East Coast of the USA—Filipino voters must be reminded once again of the infamous quotation by Manuel Quezon, that the country be preferably run like hell by Filipinos than heaven by Americans. And for me, what an idiotic utopian nationalistic thinking. Relying on such irrational political mindset is to castigate and condemn countless Filipinos who left for greener pastures of different countries of the world to escape the hell of life and hopelessness in the Philippines. Now well-to-do Filipinos living in different places on the planet would not have been possible had they remained in the Philippines that is now awash in crimes, poverty, corruption, transportation problems and varying economic and social malaise. With due respect to pundits who cater on Mar Roxas, this candidate I would argue is the current face of how the Philippines is seen around the globe, and not to mention his unacceptable failings in the rehabilitation efforts in storm-stricken regions of the country. It is sad incompetently served Yolanda stricken people continue to buttress the population counts of beggars and poor and hungry Filipinos

    Philippine history is replete with political leaders with terrific academic credentials and oratory eloquence. But same shrewd people who only became corrupt, richer and greedy at the expense of the people. To date there is no question Senator Poe is running out of the coattails of her popular Poe name and being bankrolled by very influential and wealthy vested interests. I use to like her, but I find her now naked ambition and greed to become President—constitutionally ineligible notwithstanding—unacceptable and unworthy of being President.

    Indeed, the country is ripe for electing someone who is the antithesis of the status quo—so-called academically brilliant and orator— but a simple person who will perform, deliver, and act as truly a great President of the Philippines. And here, I summon the Filipino people to elect—not Roxas, Binay, Poe, Santiago, but the unassuming, simple, direct, and bold Digong Duterte. A true positive change of leadership for my place of birth, the Philippines.

  2. pat talens says:

    In distant place, I continue unabated to write and attempt to make political sway in soon-to-be historic Philippine presidential election. Here I call upon the Philippine electorate to heed the call for the election of Rodrigo Duterte to become the next President. As bold and straight shooter he is in political rhetoric and leadership, he is what the country now needs.

    The country is beset by wide ranging problems—that are socio economic, peace-and-order, political, societal, and territorial in scopes. Thus, it is imperative the electorate must also elect Senator Cayetano as his loyal Vice-President to assist Duterte in such gargantuan nation-building. Cayetano is a proven seasoned, bright political intellectual who is ready at hand to assume the role of President if it needs be.

    As I make Mar Roxas the reflection of the current government, I stand as well to bring blame upon Roxas, along with President Aquino, for bringing into reality the specter of burgeoning level of mendicancy I envisioned in my article, “The Making of Thousands of Additional Beggars in the Philippines?” Their politics, incompetence, and apathy and corruptions assured failings to rehabilitation and restoration efforts in such epic natural destructions in the country. To date, thousands still live in subhuman conditions, despite billions in donations that was corrupted and wasted by NGO’s and leaders of government.

    On the other hand, Binay must not become President. He is the antithesis to morality and good order. How he amassed power and wealth is mind-boggling. He is one political leader who will be recorded as a footnote in Philippine history—as the most unpresidential in moral compass, in stature, and in persona.

    Again, I urge for Duterte-Cayetano tandem to positively change the Philippines—and before the World.

  3. Jowana Bueser says:

    Ignoring the fact that there are cases filed against Duterte regarding ghost employees.

    Yes, this is a logical analysis in much as the same way Frosty the Snowman is real.

  4. sheila says:

    All of the candidates got donations, maybe except binay because we already know he has tons of money for his campaign.

    If we are to say that Poe will owe danding, then we can also say duterte owes quiboloy, and mar still owes SMC too because he borrows their planes.

    I dont see it in Poe’s character that she will be controlled by these people. When she’s President,i believe she’ll only give this people a fair play.

  5. Willie Totanes says:

    From the grapevine: Binay, Poe and Roxas are each bankrolled and therefore is beholden to one or more of the Cojuancos to ensure their economic wealth remain favored whenever/whichever one among these three candidates win. As for Duterte and Santiago, they think these two are unwinnable.

  6. Don Azarias says:

    “I would rather have a country run like hell by Filipinos than a country run like heaven by the Americans, because however bad a Filipino government might be, we can always change it.”
    –Manuel L. Quezon


    No matter how much admiration I have for President Manuel L. Quezon, I have never been a believer of his quote especially the part that reads:”because however bad a Filipino government might be, we can always change it.”

    Perry, you and I and those Filipinos who love the Motherland know that the government run by Filipino politicians has gotten worse and worse since Quezon’s time and we, the people, were not able to change it. In fact, the voters and the political system have regressed.

    Quezon might be rolling over in his grave.


  7. Jaime says:

    The Quezon quote is being used here out of context so here is the historical context. When the end of the war was in sight and the Philippines was quite devastated and lacked resources to rebuild on its own and Independence long set for July 4th 1946, the American Commonwealth administration recommended to Quezon that Independence be delayed 5 years. The delay would be used as time to recover from the war and rebuild the country. The Americans will help in the rebuilding using its vast resources. (It is worthy of note here that the Americans helped rebuild Japan and Europe after the War at great cost to America.)

    Well, Quezon, who was the leader in charge of the Philippine shadow government, declined the offer by saying his famous quotation. But what he did not say, and the real reason he turned down the offer is because a delay of 5 years will not guarantee him that he will still be the first President of the Philippines. Ironically, he died shortly after he became our first President.

    He left our country still in ruins and the economy in shambles. But more importantly, the honest system of government already in place before the war started in 1941 was destroyed during the war and the Americans did not get a chance to rebuild the government back to the way it was…. as they did in Japan and in Europe. A lot of the Filipino officials who learned how to run our Commonwealth government died during the War.

    1946 can be taken as, to paraphrase Quezon’s quote, the beginning of our government being run like hell!!! I know this because I still experienced the remnants, the tail end, of what a good government was.

  8. dennnis deveza says:

    The Weteng Lord, Gamblers, Crooked and Miners who wants gold and silver destroying the Philippine good land and green life are the one that are financing the Presidential Candidates who else are afraid not to lose their grounds. The good business man are merely waiting on the side. This is the reality on who are financing the people in the government so when they win, the interest of the gangsters and the miners etc will still be there. What we need are for the people to fight for their right even after the election so these crooked gangster cannot manipulates these elected leaders. God Bless the Philippines.

  9. Marlow R. Garlitos says:

    You’re 101% right. We should go Duterte. His platform is clear, simple and doable. Only from him can we expect changes our country needs for our beloved Philippines to really and truly realize her latent potential economically, politically and socially. Go Duterte-Cayetano. Though Cayetano will have a long way to go.

  10. Marlow R. Garlitos says:

    You’re 101% right. We should go for Duterte.His platform is simple, clear and direct. And he has the sincerity and balls to pursue them. The long-desired change for our beloved Philippines towards upgrade in governance that is sensitive to what are really needed towards becoming a first-rate country, can be expected from him. Duterte tayo “ngarud”.

  11. Marlow R. Garlitos says:

    Yes! Let’s go Duterte for a real change.

  12. perry says:

    · Magsaysay was America’s candidate. Supported and largely funded by the CIA. Magsaysay won and died in office

    · VP Garcia finished Magasaysay’s term

    · Garcia was one of America’s candidates. Supported and largely funded by the CIA. Garcia won his own term

    · Macapagal was America’s candidate. Supported and largely funded by the CIA. Macapagal won

    · Marcos was America’s candidate. Supported and largely funded by the CIA. Marcos won

    · Marcos ruled for more than 2 decades and had become an embarrassment to America… leading to

    · Cory, a quasi-revolutionary candidate following EDSA-1 to get rid of Marcos. Cory won

    · Ramos was America’s candidate. Supported and largely funded by the CIA. Ramos won

    Why is it difficult to conclude that Grace is the favored US candidate and is largely being funded by underground dollars disbursed from Washington, DC?

    Every Asian nation has China as its largest trading partner. The Philippines has excluded itself. It remains America’s bulwark off the coast of China. To be “America’s Bulwark” connotes ownership. America owns the Philippines using neo-colonial structures. Our democracy is but an illusion.

    Looking at, and analyzing the Asian landscape, the fact of US ownership over the Philippines is undeniable.

    Danding Gimenez
    (Sent by email)

  13. perry says:

    The answer to the question “Who is bankrolling Grace Poe’s campaign?” has been obvious for sometime except to her professor-advisers from Ateneo and UP. Poe’s financiers are Danding Cojuangco/Ramon Ang, Bobby Ongpin, the Zamora brothers and other Marcos cronies, who are all salivating at the prospect of cornering the big projects under a Poe presidency to recoup their campaign contributions. If Bongbong wins together with Poe, that will complete the Marcos restoration, a mere 30 years after the Marcoses and their cronies were booted out of power. A Duterte or Binay victory is not any better, and may even be as bad for the country: the latter is corrupt to the core while the former is, by any measure, totally unfit for any office higher than that of a mayor. Only under Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo can this country move forward and the Filipino people hold their heads high in the international community.

    (Sent by email)

  14. perry says:

    And that is our choice, not the USA’s. It is our moral failure. The USA may use “neo-colonial structure”…but the first of which that it uses is the Filipino himself (or in the case of Grace Poe “herself”).

    (Sent by email)

  15. perry says:

    LINO CELLE indicated this in his previous eMails.
    In fact he intimated that suwerte si Mayor Digong kung makapasok sa loob ng Malacanang Gates.
    Makapasok ng Malacanang Palace grounds na naka lakad, or, nakatihaya, I do not know.

    -Bob Gabuna
    (Sent by email)

  16. perry says:

    Response to Danding Gimenez’ post


    Here is another incoherent Danding babble. You are getting worse than Joseph Goebbels. I guess to to lend some credence to your incoherent babble, the CIA funded the COMELEC, Supreme Court Justices, Rizalino David and the other political hacks to lambaste Grace Poe, then salvaged her from the dead, metamorphosing into the American Butterfly. Dandingo you are clinging by your toe nails at the edge of the precipice of irrelevance and paranoia. You might as well join Dougie in the hut. Your posts are getting in the way of a meaningful conversation, blinded by your hatred for the US and your fealty to the Chinese Government who is raping the Philippines without vaseline. Stop being Dromedarus Dandingus, (talking Ass) not good for your lips, preparation H could no longer help it.

    Honorio Cruz
    (Sent by email)

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