Go, Poe, Villar among biggest election spenders

Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 13 2019 03:30 PM | Updated as of Jun 13 2019 07:20 PM

MANILA (UPDATE) – At least 5 of the 12 winning senatorial bets on Thursday filed their respective statement of contributions and expenditures (SOCE) with the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Senator-elect Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go has so far emerged as the biggest spender among the winning bets who have filed their SOCEs.

Go spent P161.42 million out of the P162.03 million worth of cash and in-kind contributions he received.

Sen. Cynthia Villar, the upper chamber of Congress’ richest member, used P135.53 million of her personal funds in her successful reelection bid. She did not receive any contribution. In contrast, Sen. Grace Poe did not shell out personal funds and financed her campaign with P156.43 million of the P156.45 million cash contribution she received.

Sen. Nancy Binay, who placed 12th in the Senate race, spent P56.78 million out of the P59.47 million in cash contribution she received.

Senator-elect Pia Cayetano spent P73.71 million out of the P75.2 million in cash and in-kind contributions she received.

Comelec said a total of 26 senatorial bets have filed their respective SOCEs on Thursday, the last day of filing.

Seventy-seven party-list groups and national political parties also filed their SOCEs as of 5 p.m. Deadline of filing is 8 pm Friday.

Winning candidates can still file their SOCEs within 6 months from their proclamation but they cannot assume office until they submit the documents, the Comelec said.

Winning Senate and party-list groups who belatedly filed their SOCEs will be fined with P10,000.

Filing a SOCE is required even if a candidate lost, the campaign was self-funded, no expenditures were incurred, the candidate did not pursue or continue the campaign, or the candidate withdrew his candidacy after the start campaign period.

The Comelec Finance Office can file cases against candidates who commit campaign financing violations, including receiving campaign contributions from prohibited sources such as government employees, military and other uniformed personnel, entities with contracts with the government, as well as foreigners and foreign corporations.