Marcos top campaign spender, but still had P1.4 million left after election

Ann Charrize Calusa, Ciara Annatu and Yev Monarquia, ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group

Posted at Jul 16 2022 01:01 PM

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. delivers his inaugural address at the National Museum in Manila on June 30, 2022. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News
President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. delivers his inaugural address at the National Museum in Manila on June 30, 2022. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. had an excess of P1.45 million in campaign funds even after spending more than P623 million for his 2022 presidential campaign, the most among the candidates for president. 

This is according to the Statements of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE) summary of national candidates that the ABS-CBN Investigative & Research Group obtained from the Commission on Elections Campaign Finance Office.
 
Vice-President Sara Duterte, Marcos’ running mate, was likewise the top spender among the 2022 candidates for vice president, with P216 million in campaign spending. Unlike Marcos, however, Duterte did not have any funds left over after the campaign. 

Each candidate for President and Vice-President is allowed to spend up to P10 per voter according to Republic Act 7166. This translates to more than P675 million with 67,529,008 registered voters in the 2022 elections.

The Comelec has yet to release the full SOCEs of national candidates in the 2022 elections as of writing. 

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Out-of-pocket spending

Among the presidential candidates, Manny Pacquiao spent the most using his personal funds and resources. The former senator and boxing champ spent nearly P63 million out of pocket. This constitutes more than half (53%) of his total campaign spending.

But it was Jose Montemayor Jr. who ran his entire campaign on his own funds, declaring zero contributions and P100,000 in spending.

Meanwhile, three candidates, including Marcos, did not spend any of their personal funds for the campaign. The President also had the most contributions received by any presidential candidate, with almost P625 million based on his SOCE. Forty percent of his contributions, or P247 million, came from his political party Partido Federal ng Pilipinas. In fact, the President had more than P1.4 million in excess funds after the campaign, as the contributions he received were more than the amount he spent for his entire campaign.

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Aside from Marcos, Leody de Guzman is the only other candidate for president who received contributions from his political party.

Former vice-president Leni Robredo received the highest amount of cash contributions from other sources with P388 million. She is closely followed by Marcos with P373 million.

Despite this, Robredo ended up spending nearly P20,000 more than the contributions she received. 

Aside from Robredo, Francisco “Isko” Moreno Domagoso likewise spent a lot more for his campaign than the contributions he received. Moreno had to shell out a total of P1.1 million out of his own pocket.

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Candidates for Vice President

Like her running mate, Duterte did not spend any of her personal funds or resources for the campaign. Her expenditures were paid out of in-kind contributions. She also received the highest amount in contributions, at P216 million. Duterte’s contributions came mainly from in-kind contributions from her political party Lakas-CMD amounting to nearly P137 million or 63% of her total contributions. 

Former Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III had the second highest campaign spending among candidates for vice president, with P157 million. Thirty-one percent of this spending, or P49 million, came from his personal funds and resources.

Aside from Sotto, five other candidates for vice president had to shell out their own funds to finance their campaigns. Among them was former Senator Francis Pangilinan, who despite receiving the second highest campaign contributions at nearly P110 million, had to spend P21 million out of pocket. 

Three candidates for vice president sourced their entire campaign funds out of pocket, having declared zero contributions — Willie Ong, Lito Atienza and Carlos Serapio.

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Only Duterte and Walden Bello are the candidates for vice-president who received contributions from their political party.

According to a July 13 article from Rappler, Bello said that there was an error with his SOCE and that he spent all the contributions he received for the campaign. The ABS-CBN IRG tried to clarify this issue with Bello but has not received any reply as of writing. 

Non-filers

According to Comelec, the deadline for losing candidates to submit their SOCE was only until June 8. Winning candidates, meanwhile, may submit their SOCE until November or until six months from the day of elections. However, they will not be allowed to assume office until they have submitted their SOCE, per Section 14 of Republic Act 7166.

The Comelec also confirmed with the ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group that they will not be accepting any SOCE after the deadline.

Among the candidates for president, those who failed to submit their SOCE by the deadline were Ernesto Abella, Norberto Gonzales, and Faisal Mangondato.

Rizalito David meanwhile, is the only vice-presidential candidate who failed to submit his SOCE. — With reporting from Che de los Reyes, ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group