Most candidates in Davao City yet to file statements on election expenses

The Comelec said the list of those who had submitted statements as of Friday did not include Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and daughter-vice mayor elect.

According to a staffer of Davao City Comelec District Officer Lacsasa Casar, most candidates would usually file their reports on the deadline.

She said that in the May 2004 elections, most of the candidates were able to file their reports.

She cited a losing and lesser known candidate who did not file but was charged for violation of the Republic Act 7166 or the Synchronized National and Local Election Act.

The law requires the submission of the statement from all candidates.

Those who have been proclaimed winners cannot assume their posts if they skip the report.

The staffer, who asked not to be named because only Casar was authorized to speak on the update, said 1st District Representative and House Majority Floor Leader Prospero Nograles, has submitted a report that claims he spent within the allowed limit.

The spending limit for individual candidates, which is based on the number of registered voters, varied among the city's three districts. The limit was P900,000 for the 1st district, P750,000 for the 2nd district, and P594,000 for the 3rd district.

The political parties also have restrictions on total expenses.

Nograles, who bested two other candidates, posted total expenses amounting to P812, 851.85. His report said he spent P492, 942 from his own pocket and that the rest of his expenses came from contributions.

Randy Ponteras and Rodolfo Antolin, the only candidates for councilor in the first district who had filed statements, reported spending P255, 000 and P61, 263.70, respectively.

There were 16 candidates for councilor in the first district.

Only three candidates for councilors from the second district have so far submitted their reports. Mikey Aportadera reported P152, 235; come-backing Samuel Bangoy reported P275, 170; and re-electionist Danilo Dayanghirang posted P600,000.

Bangoy and Dayanghirang made it to the winning circle in the district where 17 bets contested eight seats.

None of the congressional candidates in the second district had submitted their reports as of Friday, including Abelardo Aportadera Jr. Joel Batucan, Councilor Jimmy Dureza, and reelected Rep. Vincent Garcia.

Former councilor Isidro Ungab, who won the four-cornered congressional race in the third district, posted total expenses of P552, 989.98 while rival former mayor Benjamin de Guzman reported P211, 565.58. Two other contenders, Councilor Rene Elias Lopez and Sonja Rodriguez, were yet to file their reports.

Of the 18 bets for councilors in the third district, only councilors elect Victorio Advincula, Conrado Baluran, and Teresita Mata have filed statements. They reported having spent PP299, 477.11, P229, 310.00 and P197,747.00, respectively.

Section 14 of RA 7166 provides that "every candidate and treasurer of the political party shall, within thirty (30) days after the day of the election, file in duplicate with the offices of the Commission the full, true and itemized statement of all contributions and expenditures in connection with the election."