As early as 2003, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office had released funds to a non-government organization prodding then President Gloria Arroyo to run in the 2004 presidential election, Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson disclosed Wednesday.
Lacson said the “Gawin Natin-Lakas Pinoy” appeared to be very influential with the state gambling agency, getting big amounts that went to “Run, Gloria, Run” materials and posters that sprouted in parts of the country in late 2003.
“Why can ‘Gawin Natin Lakas Pinoy’ get practically anything from PCSO? The secret is Raul Nestor Ancheta, one of the incorporators. Ancheta is the chief of staff of Rosario Uriarte,” he recalled saying in his privilege speech in 2003, when he bared the existence of the Jose Pidal bank accounts where funds were supposedly laundered.
Ancheta was an incorporator of the foundation, while Uriarte was the general manager of PCSO at the time.
Lacson cited a memo from Uriarte requesting for P2 million, to be charged to the PCSO charity fund, for a supposed feeding project of the “Gawin Natin Lakas Pinoy.” The memo had an “OK” note from then President Arroyo.
Also, stamps on the document indicated the request was received by the Office of the President in August 2003, although the feeding project was scheduled in July.
In another instance, the PCSO deployed a medical team including a physician, two nurses, a driver and paramedics to an October 2003 pro-Arroyo motorcade of the Samahan ng Mamamayan Sa Hunta at Destabilisasyon (SMASH-Destabilisasyon) from the People Power Monument in Quezon City to Mendiola.
This was after a request was made to Uriarte by Lakas Pinoy through its lawyer Romarleo Ayson.
The “Gawin Natin Lakas Pinoy” foundation, less than a year old at the time, was behind several “Run, Gloria Run!” posters plastered in many parts of the country.