Claim: VP Leni paid Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez to declare his full support for her
At a glance: A Facebook post has been spreading (ever since Ping Lacson left Partido para sa Demokratikong Reporma) that VP Leni paid P800 million to Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez so that the Reporma Party which he heads will support her. (https://www.facebook.com/1770728986306931/posts/5263716643674797/)
The Facts: According to Robredo’s campaign team, they do not have P800 million to offer in exchange for Alvarez’s support for Leni’s presidential bid.
According to her spokesperson Barry Gutierrez, Robredo’s presidential campaign is motivated by volunteerism and initiative.
Barry Gutierrez wrote on Twitter, “Our campaign thrives on initiative and volunteerism, and we certainly do not have 800M pesos to give away to anyone. The support for VP Leni’s presidential bid is anchored on the hope that she can reform the government and bring a better future for all Filipinos. #AngatBuhayLahat. “
Sen. Panfilo Lacson challenged the leader of his previous political party to divulge the real reason for his support flip, implying that it was because of a rebuffed request for P800 million in campaign funding from the latter’s staff.
On Thursday, Partido Reporma President Pantaleon Alvarez dropped his support for Lacson’s presidential ambition and later that day, endorsed Vice President Leni Robredo.
Lacson stated that he did not accept Alvarez’s statement.
In a message he gave, he said “Time to call a spade a spade. It was actually more about the issue of campaign expenses for their local candidates. His chief of staff was asking for 800 million pesos in additional funding which I honestly told him I cannot produce. If pre-election surveys was his primary reason for switching his support, I don’t believe it because like me, Mayor Isko and Sen. Pacquiao, his newly chosen candidate is also lagging far behind the survey leader.”
Lacson, who resigned from the Partido Reporma just hours before Alvarez endorsed Robredo, revealed that the former speaker’s staff had approached him for money to assist fund the party’s local candidates. He is now running as an independent candidate, stating that he intends to fight until May 9.
“As I said yesterday, I harbor no ill-feelings for what he did. It is better that we both stop talking about this but if he insists to explain his action, I’ll be prompted to respond to correct his statements,” Lacson said.
The budget request, according to Alvarez, was in reference to the allotment for poll watchers.
In a statement of Alvarez, he said “Given these considerations, the budget, at the minimum, on election day itself, should be approximately Php 779,406,000.00 for a credible national campaign. But be mindful, this is based on 2019 data. 2022 will have more polling precincts. And poll watchers are merely one of many items on a campaign budget. “
“As the President of Partido Reporma, I was duty-bound to inform our then Chairman about the requirements needed to sustain a credible effort on the ground… And that is what I did,” he continued. (https://twitter.com/barrygu…/status/1507203780433297421…)
Why we fact-checked this: The Facebook post from CagayaKnows garnered 13.5K reactions, 3.2K comments, and 795 shares.