PCSO money used to convince GMA to run in '04: Lacson
MANILA, Philippines - Funds of the Philippines Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) were used for a campaign to encourage former President Gloria Arroyo to run in the 2004 elections, a senator alleged on Monday.
During a Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said a nongovernment organization (NGO) named Lakas Pinoy was given some P2 million by the previous PCSO board.
But instead of using it for charity, Lacson said the money went to posters and motorcades urging Arroyo to run, after she declared in 2002 that she will no longer seek a fresh term.
She eventually ran in 2004 and was declared the winner.
Lacson said the person behind Lakas Pinoy is a certain Raul Ancheta, who was former PCSO General Manager Rosario Uriarte's chief of staff.
"'Di ko po alam 'yan," Uriarte said, referring to how the money was used.
Uriarte explained that that the PCSO would not have released the fund to Lakas Pinoy if it knew that it won't be used for charity.
"Maski saang anggulo ko po tingnan, wala akong makitang charitable purpose," Lacson said.