A writer who was implicated in a supposed P70-million “unholy alliance” of the camp of Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero and two leftist groups for the purpose of defeating the vice-presidential bid of Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has vehemently denied that he took part in the deal.
The story of The Manila Times that appeared on the paper’s front page on February 29 pointed out that according to a highly reliable source whom this paper named “Heart,” a certain Charlie Avila was the one who worked on a P20-million deal of Sanlakas and Escudero’s camp.
The same source said Nathaniel Santiago, secretary-general of the KoalisyongMakabayan (KM), was the “key person” behind a P50-million agreement between the Escudero group and the “reaffirmist” or RA faction of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
Heart, who is described as “young” and “cute,” stood pat for a number of times that the P50-million and P20-million deals, or a total of P70 million, with the two leftist organizations was “definitely” correct.
The source reiterated that the principal purpose of the two separate agreements was to revive the Marcos administration’s human rights record in the 1970s to 1980s in order to directly campaign to defeat Marcos’ vice presidential run.
Santiago has strongly denied that the “unholy alliance” exists.
He said the tie-up of KM with the group of presidential frontrunner Senators Grace Poe and her running mate Escudero was purely issue-based.
KM’s bet for senator, Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares, is running under the Poe ticket.
Avila made it clear to The Manila Times that he was not and will never be part of any “unholy alliance” between the Philippine Left and a politician in any capacity.
This paper is strongly standing by its story, which was an exclusive one.
The Manila Times, however, reiterated that the Charlie Avila who lodged a complaint with the paper for the inclusion of his name was not the one being referred to in the story.
This reporter’s source was strongly firm in his assertion that a certain Charlie Avila was the one who arranged the P20 million deal between Escudero’s camp and the leftist Sanlakas.
Heart described Avila as an activist during the First Quarter Storm or FQS during the 1970s.
Avila is not a writer and he has not written any article for The Manila Times, the source said.
Over the phone, Heart said Avila the “broker” is completely a “different person” from the Avila who lodged a complaint with The Manila Times.
Sanlakas, an alliance of leftist people’s organizations including the Bukluranng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) that is seeking a post in the House of Representatives, was mum about Avila.
Leody de Guzman, Sanlakas first nominee and BMP chairman, denied that there was such a multi-million deal with Escudero.
He said the alliance of the two was purely based on issues that they will carry out and fight for once they win in the May 9 elections.
De Guzman admitted that Sanlakas was the one that created Never Again Marcos or NAM, a group put up to revive anti-Marcos campaign as a Marcos is seeking a higher elective post.
Another newly-formed organization was the Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacanang or Carmma headed by Bonifacio Ilagan, vice chairman of Selda, a leftist advocacy group for the protection of human rights.
NELSON S. BADILLA