Mar tops Senate campaign spending with P179 M
Roxas declared that he shelled out P12 million of his personal funds and received a total of P167,050,000 in contributions for his campaign.
KJ Rosales

Mar tops Senate campaign spending with P179 M

Mayen Jaymalin (The Philippine Star) - June 14, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Liberal Party senatorial candidate Mar Roxas was possibly the biggest spender among those who ran in the May 2019 senatorial race.

Based on the Statement of Contribution and Expenditures (SOCE) he submitted to the Commission on Elections (Comelec), Roxas spent a total of P179,193,153.04.

Roxas declared that he shelled out P12 million of his personal funds and received a total of P167,050,000 in contributions for his campaign.

Reelected Sen. Cynthia Villar spent the most out of her own pocket – P135,529,061.69 – for her campaign in the May 13 midterm elections, making her the biggest spender of her own money.

President Duterte’s former personal aide Christopher Go spent the biggest campaign fund of P161,418,299.31 that mostly came from contributions of supporters.

Based on the SOCE she submitted to the Comelec, Villar reported that she did not receive any contribution from political parties or supporters during the campaign.

Go, who with Villar was among the first five winning senatorial candidates to submit SOCE, reported the highest campaign contributions worth P162,035,537 from supporters.

He spent P161,418,299.31 in the campaign, including P415,000 of his personal funds.

Comelec Campaign Finance Office (CFO) officer-in-charge Efraim Bag-id said less than half of the senatorial candidates have complied with the requirement to file SOCE.

As of 5:30 p.m. yesterday, Bag-id said only 28 out of the 63 senatorial candidates have filed their SOCE and 91 of the 134 groups that participated in the party-list elections.

Five national political parties have also filed the SOCE.

Senator-elect Francisco Tolentino claimed to have spent a total of P159,169,836.54 with contributions amounting to P112,900,000.

Reelected Sen. Grace Poe spent P156,433,463.80, almost all received from supporters.

Senator-elect Ramon Revilla Jr. posted a campaign expenditure of P121,952,358.54 and received contribution of P115,575,235.21.

Another administration bet, senator-elect Pia Cayetano, reported that she received P75,200,000 contribution and spent P73,714,198.55 for the senatorial campaign.

Reelected Sen. Nancy Binay spent the least among the five senatorial candidates who filed the SOCE as of yesterday with a total of P56,785,472.82. Binay reported that she received P59,470,000 in campaign contribution. 

According to Comelec’s Bag-id, only seven of 12 winning senators were able to beat the deadline for the filing of SOCE.

Bag-id said only 20 out of the 63 senatorial candidates have filed SOCE as of 5 p.m. yesterday.

Of the 134 party-list groups that participated in the last elections, only 50 have filed their SOCE. Three national political parties, including PDP-Laban, have complied with the requirement.

Submission of SOCE ended at 8 p.m. and Bag-id said the commission does not intend to extend the deadline.

The other senatorial candidates who filed their SOCE included Romulo Macalintal, Willie Ong, Chel Diokno, Florin Hilbay, Erin Tañada and Gary Alejano.

Bag-id said they could not determine yet who among the candidates spent the most since they are still collating the data.

He said the elected candidates appeared to be not in a rush since they were allowed under a new Comelec resolution to file SOCE within six months from proclamation.

However, he said, they cannot assume their positions until they have filed their SOCE before the Comelec.

“They must have the certificate of compliance by June 29, if they want to assume post by July 1,” Bag-id noted.

According to Bag-id, the Comelec issues the certificate of compliance to candidates, party-list groups and national political parties upon submission of the SOCE.

If they filed the SOCE after the deadline, Bag-id said, elected senatorial candidates must pay an administrative fine of P10,000  prior to assuming their posts.          

Bag-id said the same rules apply for party-list groups and local candidates, but the administrative fine depends on the positions they ran for.

Fines for violators

First time violators will have to pay an administrative fine ranging from P1,000 to P60,000. But those who failed to submit the SOCE twice face perpetual disqualification from holding public office, whether elective or appointive position.

Bag-id stressed the importance of filing SOCE, which indicates the names of donors and the expenses of the candidates.

Using the signed SOCE submitted to them, Bag-id said the Comelec has already filed election offense cases against some candidates.

He said the Comelec has already filed cases against 500 candidates who failed to submit their SOCE twice.

In fact, he said, there were several candidates who were barred from running in the last midterm polls after they were given certificate of finality that they failed to submit SOCE twice.

He said Comelec has also filed cases against candidates for overspending. Those found guilty of campaign overspending face one to six years imprisonment and perpetual disqualification from holding public positions.  With Eva Visperas

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