Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday said an anonymous Chinese donor had partially paid for his political ads that were released before the start of the official campaign period.
"May nagbayad niyan na Chinese sa initial ads ko," Duterte, a presidential contender in the May elections, told reporters before meeting the members of the Joint Manning Group in Diamond Hotel. "Ayaw naman sabihin [kung sino siya]."
Duterte on PCIJ report on political ads: A Chinese who refused to be identified partially spent for his initial ads pic.twitter.com/bEiZh9koZV— Trisha Macas (@trishamacas) March 10, 2016
Duterte said he is not in the habit of talking with his donors. "Hindi ako nakikiusap sa mga donor. I do not talk to them," he said.
Duterte also dispelled rumors that he is being funded by an owner of a mining company. "I will withdraw kung makaturo sila ng isa," he said.
A report by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) said Duterte spent over P146 million for his ads, which is beyond his total net worth of over P22 million.
When asked about his own expenses for the campaign, Duterte — known for his colorful language — cursed.
"Pera ko mismo? 'T*** i**. Iyong pang-retire ko gagastusin ko sana, saan ako kukuha ng pang-hospital?" he said.
Duterte, however, clarified that he will not accept donations just from anyone, especially from those "doing business with the government."
"I will not accept donations from people, corporations, or from companies that are doing business with government or may transaksyon sa gobyerno," he said.
Duterte also said that he is going to participate in any probe regarding his team’s campaign expenditures, as proposed by his rival Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago. [http://www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/558417/news/nation/miriam-wants-graft-probe-vs-fellow-presidentiables]
"I will go if I am summoned," he said. "Kasi sabi nila gumastos ako ng P100 million, kalokohan iyon. Hindi ko nga alam kung sino ang nagbayad noon."
Duterte’s running mate, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, spent the most among the vice presidential hopefuls for political ads, the PCIJ report said.
Cayetano had a rate card value of P419,002,456, but he said that the ads released before were advocacy ads comparing Taguig City to Makati City.
"Kung merong gustong gumawa ng ad at libre for us at walang kapalit, bakit ako hihindi, di ba? And actual lang na na-raise noon for ads was much much less than a hundred million," Cayetano said.
Cayetano also said that the TV networks can give the public the actual amounts.
He also said that PCIJ should have explained the rate cards in the report, explaining that rate card is not the actual amount paid by the candidates or their donors.
"Kung ang rate card mo ay P900,000 per ad, ang binabayaran mo ay P300,000-P400,000 lang before February 9 kasi hindi regulated ng Comelec," he said.
But Cayetano stressed that the amount spent during the campaign should not be an issue but the source of the funds. —KBK, GMA News