Presidential aspirant and former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Tuesday said he could not say how much his campaign has spent so far on his presidential run, claiming that much of their outlay has been in-kind donations and help from supporters and friends.
“Unang-una, hindi namin ililista ang mga donasyon dahil karamihan diyan in-kind eh, kagaya ng mga caravan na ginagawa namin, kami ay iniimbita lamang ng mga organizer diyan at kaya’t pinagsasabihan [namin] huwag nang pahabain o huwag na gagawin ito o gawin na lang natin magtanim ng kahoy, ang sinasabi, 'gusto pa rin namin mag-caravan.' Hindi naman namin maipigil kaya wala kaming gastos doon,” Marcos said during the debate hosted by the media network SMNI.
(We won't list donations because most of them are in-kind, like the caravans: the organizers just invite us there and so we tell them not to make it long or not to do it and let's just plant wood, but they still want to push the caravan. We can't stop them so we don't spend anything there.)
"Sa awa ng Diyos e marami pa naman tayong kaibigan na handang tumulong na handang magpahiram ng kanilang mga eroplano, ng kanilang mga helicopter, at gratis et amore naman ang aming usapan diyan," he added.
(We also have a lot of friends who are willing to help and lend their planes and helicopters, and our arrangement is 'gratis et amore.')
Marcos was then asked if he could provide at least an estimate of their expenses.
“No, I cannot 'cause I’m not following it, hindi ko sinusundan dahil unang una, wala kaming accounting before February 8 at since February 8, that date is still not available. Kaya hindi namin binubuo ‘yan, ang aming binabantayan yung gastusin mula noong February 8,” the former senator said.
(No, I can’t because I’m not following our expenses. I’m not following because first of all we don’t have accounting before February 8 and since February 8, that date is still not available. So we are not accounting that up, but we have been monitoring our expenses since February 8.)
February 8 was the start of the campaign period for Eleksyon 2022.
“Kaya hindi namin inililista pa dahil hindi naman kailangan pa na isama doon sa tinatawag na SOCE or gastos sa eleksyon, magsisimula lang po yan kung saan yung gastos magmula noong February 8 hanggang sa pagdating ng halalan,” Marcos added.
(We haven't listed that yet because it's not included in the SOCE, it will just start on February 8 until the election comes.)
The Statements of Contributions and Expenses (SOCE) is a full and detailed report about the campaign contributions and expenditures of political candidates. Failure to submit a SOCE is considered as an administrative offense.
Marcos's answer provoked a reaction from another presidential aspirant at the debate, former defense secretary Norberto Gonzales. "Naa-amuse lang ako, kasi kitang kita ang laki ng ginagastos," he laughed.
(This is amusing me, because it's so clear that they've spent a lot.)
'Wala pa sa minimum'
Another presidential aspirant at the debate, labor leader Leody De Guzman, said that it will be difficult to reveal the candidates' expenses, noting that most of the candidates will spend a lot during the campaign period.
De Guzman proposed that the government spend for the campaign period of the candidates since he said it is the government who is looking for the “right leader.”
“Kapag ang indibidwal ang gagastos talagang ang eleksyon sa Pilipinas ay magiging eleksyon lamang ng mga bilyonaryo o kung hindi naman, mga kandidato ng sikat na susuportahan ng mga bilyonaryong korporasyon,” he underscored.
(If campaign spending is left to the individual then it really will only be the election of billionaires, or if not them then the famous candidates who will be supported by the billionaire corporations.)
He said that he will definitely not be the one spending the most during the campaign period.
“Imposibleng ako ang may pinakamalaking ginastos dito, pero tiyak ako na wala pa doon sa minimum. 'Di ko kaya P350,000 billboard sa EDSA ng isang buwan, hindi ko kaya P800,000 na isang labas na TV ads na 15 seconds, at di ko kayang gumastos ng poster sa baybay daan. May kaya lang niyan bilyonaryo at milyonaryo at supporter ng big business sa ating bansa,” De Guzman said.
(It is impossible for me to have the biggest spend here during elections. I can't afford P350,000 for billboards along EDSA for a month, I can't afford P800,000 for 15-second TV advertisements, and I can't afford putting posters on the roadside. It is only billionaires and millionaires and supporters of big business in our country who can afford it.)
Gonzales agreed with De Guzman, saying “Alam naman natin hindi pa nagsisimula ang kampanya bilyon na ang naubos ng ibang mga kandidato, tanggapin natin yan huwag natin ilihim.”
(We know that even before the campaign period even started, some candidates have already spent billions. Let us accept that, let us not keep it a secret.)
The national and local elections will be held on May 9. — BM, GMA News