Davao City pols’ poll spending reports ‘unbelievable’

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/18 June) – If the statements of election contributions and expenses for the May 10 elections submitted to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) are to be believed, the candidates here spent less than the limit prescribed by law.

Lawyer Danilo A. Cullo, first district election officer, said the statements are unbelievable, noting that the highest spender, defeated mayoral candidate Prospero Nograles reported having spent only P2,678,260.63.

Nograles indicated in his statement that of his total expenditures, P1.24 million came from his personal fund. His statement says the rest were contributions in cash or in kind.

The outgoing House Speaker spent only P812,851.85 when he ran for a third term in Congress in 2007.

His rival, Vice Mayor and Mayor-elect Sara Duterte, reported an expenditure of P1,315,613. Her statement says she received P894,450 in campaign contributions and spent P421,181 from her personal fund.

Duterte spent P1,860,948, or half a million pesos more when she ran for vice mayor in 2007.
Nograles’ running mate, Benjamin de Guzman appeared as the second biggest election spender with a reported expenditure of P2,182,737.38.

His statement says that of this amount P615,000 was personal money and P1,567,737.38 came from contributions.

Outgoing Mayor and Vice mayor-elect Rodrigo Duterte spent a total of P1,890,782. His statement says P1,724,893.84 came from contributions and P165,888.17 from his own fund.

The elder Duterte reported spending at least P2 million when he ran for a third term as mayor in 2007.

Cullo said he had expected the candidates to spend at least P3 million each as the city has 948,428 registered voters.

Election laws limit campaign spending of candidates  – from senators down to local officials — to three pesos per registered voter.  But political parties are allowed to spend an additional five pesos per registered voter.

Romeo Saberon Sr., a defeated candidate for councilor of the second district reported he did not spend a single centavo for the campaign.

According to Comelec rules, candidates who fail to submit their statements of election contributions and statements will be penalized.

Winning candidates are obliged to comply with this requirement before they can assume office. (MindaNews)