Comelec asks Aquino to explain P37M excess campaign fund

June 17, 2010 8:30 pm 

MANILA, June 17 – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) advised president-elect Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino to submit a supplemental Statement on Election Contributions and Expenditures explaining where the extra P37 million campaign funds were spent.

Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said the Aquino camp should legally declare all of their election-related expenses so that there would be no more questions regarding the funds’ usage.

“If people are now saying that they have a surplus but spent it for these things, and these are election-related expenditures, perhaps they might want to submit a supplement to their original submissions,” he said.

Aquino has until June 24 to file the supplemental statement after the deadline has been extended.

Based on the new President’s statement, which was submitted to the Comelec Law Department, he received a total of P440,050,000 from generous friends and members of his clan, including his siblings.

However, he only spent P403,119,981.81 in the campaign period leaving him with an excess of P37 million.

Although there are no rules on how the excess funds should be spent, several sectors continued to question on how the money was consumed.

On the other hand, Edwin Lacierda, Aquino's spokesman, said that the money in question was used to pay withholding tax, printing of sample ballots, allowances for poll watchers across the country, and payment for legal fees.

He said that they did not declared it since they were not required under the law since they were expenses made after May 8, the last day of the campaign period.

Jimenez, however, said they are not really concern on how excess funds, in case of any, are being used by politicians.

“You cannot look into the purpose of the donor. Donation is an act of liberality. I gave you money, it’s from my own will and because I want you to have it. Whatever the purpose is attached to that at that time, that’s beyond our control,” he said.

Among the biggest contributor in Aquino’s campaign kitty for the May 10 polls was the former’s cousin, Antonio “Tonyboy” Cojuangco, who donated P100 million. (PNA) RMA/FGP/utb

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