Gwen, Ace, Duke spent over P1M for campaign

·3 min read

CEBU Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia has declared close to P1.7 million worth of expenditures for her campaign as reelectionist in the 2022 elections.

This was based on Garcia’s Statement of Contribution and Expenditures (Soce) filed before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Cebu Province on Tuesday, June 7, 2022.

The governor declared P1,654,368.85 worth of spending for her campaign.

The amount is just a third of her 2019 election expenditure of P4,518,926.56.

Comelec has not provided yet the breakdown of her expenses.

Garcia’s rival for the post, former tourism secretary Joseph Felix Mari “Ace” Durano, declared P1,376,827.90 worth of spending for his campaign.

Reelected Vice Gov. Hilario Davide III, meanwhile, declared P287,886.08 worth of expenditures for his campaign, which is less than the P1.65 million he spent in the 2019 elections.

Biggest spender

Fifth District Rep. Vincent Franco “Duke” Frasco was the biggest spender among candidates for provincial representative, spending P1,034,530, which is higher than the P999,702.96 he spent during the May 2019 elections.

First District Representative-elect Rhea Gullas, who ran unopposed in the May 9 polls, spent P743,875.64 for her campaign, followed by reelected Third District Rep. Pablo John Garcia, who spent P683,186.22 even if he also ran unopposed.

Fourth District Rep. Janice Salimbangon spent P370,519.74; Second District Rep. Edsel Galeos, P183,149.45; and Sixth District Rep. Daphne Lagon, P172,326.50.

Reelected Seventh District Rep. Peter John Calderon, who ran unopposed, spent just P62,526.41.

Of the candidates who were elected to new positions, former board member and now incoming Cebu Second District Rep. Edsel Galeos spent P183,149.45; incoming Fifth District Board Member Michael “Mike” Joseph Villamor, P171,000; incoming Second District Board Member Raymond Joseph Calderon, P60,000; and incoming Seventh District Board Member Cesar Baricuatro, only P11,720.

The real deadline

At least 30 political candidates submitted their Soce to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Cebu province before the 5 p.m. deadline on Wednesday, June 8, 2022.

Lawyer Jerome Brillantes, acting election supervisor of Comelec Cebu province, said all losing and winning candidates who failed to meet the June 8 deadline will be fined at least P5,000, while this will be a ground for perpetual disqualification from holding public office once they violate the law twice.

However, Brillantes clarified that under a Comelec En Banc resolution, those who won in the May 9 elections are given six months to submit their Soce. They are still required to pay the fine though.

“They are given a period of six months since proclamation to submit their Soce. Otherwise, they will not be able to take office... they would be included sa penalties. Naa jud sila’y mabayran ana if failure to file karon June 8,” Brillantes said.

Brillantes noted that candidates under a political party have a lawful expense of P3 per registered voter, while independent candidates could spend a maximum of P5 per voter.

“Their lawful expenses are P3 times the number of registered voters in the particular LGU (local government unit) where they ran,” he said, adding that Cebu Province has over 3.2 million registered voters.

Brillantes said it may also be a ground for disqualification should they exceed the allowable expenses, may it be personal or donated expenses.

Those who have already filed their Soce also include reelectionists Board Members Yolanda Daan and Raul Bacaltos (1st District), Red Duterte (5th District), Kerrie Shimura and Horacio Franco (4th District), and John Ismael Borgonia and Victoria Corominas-Toribio (3rd District).

The losing candidates who have filed their Soce include Dr. Ron del Mar (aspiring Board Member, 1st District), Frederico Garcia (aspiring Board Member, 6th District), Robert Tambis (aspiring Board Member, 2nd District), and aspiring Board Members Jerard Almendras and Jude Thaddeus Sybico (both for the 5th District).

Based on the list of the Comelec, 54 candidates vied for 23 different positions in the province during the May 9 elections. (JGS, TPT)

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