PATIENTS recovering from heart surgery, senior citizens, youths who sacrificed their out-of-town or out of the country trips were among the supporters of Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo who helped raise P4 million to pay part of the P7.4 million balance of Robredo’s counter poll protest dues against former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.
The amount was raised under “Piso Para sa Laban in Leni”, initiated by fellow awardees of Robredo in The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service (TOWNS) Foundation Inc.: Museo Pambata founder Cristina Lim-Yuson, former PAG-Ibig Fund Chief Executive Officer Zorayda Amelia Alonzo, former human rights commissioner Paulynn Sicam, award-winning singer Celeste Legaspi-Gallardo, Ateneo de Manila University Press director Karina Bolasco, and former social welfare secretary Corazon Soliman.
In a statement on Thursday, the group noted that the donors included people recovering from open-heart surgery, those who need to travel far to reach the city center to make their contribution, senior citizens who are willing to shed a portion of their pension for Robredo’s cause and youths who decided to forego their money for travelling out of town or out of the country.
“Most donations came in denominations of around P100 or less. This shows that the P4 million raised in such a short time shows that the bayanihan spirit of Filipinos is still strong, especially in support of their duly elected vice president,” the group said of its campaign that started on July 29.
Members of the “Piso para sa Laban ni Leni” have filed a motion to intervene before the Supreme Court to allow them to make a donation for Robredo’s poll protest as three existing laws banned Robredo from accepting donations in her capacity as a government official.
Robredo’s supporters argued that they were exercising their constitutional rights to suffrage and to protect the outcome of such a right in making these donations.
The Supreme Court has yet to resolve this petition.
Marcos has claimed fraud after Robredo beat him by 263,473 votes in the May 2016 elections. He alleged that a technical glitch during the tally had altered the results which, prior to the “breakdown”, saw him ahead of the lone lady candidate of the Liberal Party by almost the same number of votes. LLANESCA T. PANTI