Independent senatorial bet Walden Bello is claiming that the Salim-Metro Pacific Group of Indonesia, one of the biggest rent capitalists in the country, is not willing to take on any risk by supporting all major presidential contenders in the May 2016 elections.
In a report by Philippine Daily Inquirer, the former Akbayan party-list representative said there has been persistent talk that Salim-Metro Pacific could be behind the enormous amount of money being spent by presidential candidates on television campaign ads which has far exceeded what American billionaire Donald Trump had spent for his Republican nomination.
Bello said that Salim-Metro Pacific controlled Meralco, PLDT, Philex, Maynilad and other strategic industries (like hospitals, media, and toll roads) “was giving money to all presidential candidates as protection money whoever comes to power.”
Salim’s representative in the Philippines, Manuel V. Pangilinan, was previously rumored as Vice President Jejomar Binay’s running mate but he denied any interest in jumping into politics.
Aside from Salim-Metro Pacific, Bello identified the major backers of the biggest political TV ad spenders last year.
Bello claims that China money was financing Binay’s campaign due to his partiality to the Chinese interests, specifically his proposal for a bilateral solution (in contrast to the rules-based, multilateral solution sought by the Aquino administration). “The Chinese government is sending huge amounts of money to the Binay campaign,” said Bello.
Bello said jueteng funds were allegedly being used to bankroll Liberal Party standardbearer Mar Roxas’ expensive campaign. “This was the main reason why Gov. Lilia Pineda was made chair of LP in Pampanga, ” said Bello referring to the wife of alleged jueteng lord Bong Pineda.
Bello also said that Senator Grace Poe should answer charges that her biggest backer was Nationalist People’s Coalition founder and San Miguel Corp. Chairman Eduardo “Dandng” Cojuangco Jr.