MANILA, Philippines – Friends and families – politician fathers, especially – indeed tried to outdo each other in contributing to some senatorial candidates.
They were so eager, in fact, some of them seem to have overlooked that some figures didn’t match other public documents that show their financial capabilities.
Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Edgardo Angara, whose respective sons sought to continue their legislative legacies, proved to be generous fathers, if we are to go by the Schedule of Contributions Received (SCR) submitted by candidates to the Commission on Elections.
The Enrile family’s Pacific Royal Basic Foods Inc. practically bankrolled the failed bid of former Cagayan Rep Jack Enrile. The company shelled out P135.96 million.
This accounted for 90 percent of the total donations that Jack received. He got a total of of P150.8 million in contributions.
Angara, for his part, shelled out P40 million from his personal money to the campaign of his son, former Aurora Rep Sonny Angara.
The older Angara’s latest sworn Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) shows that his cash on hand amounted to P73.22 million. This means he gave up more than half of this to contribute to Sonny’s campaign. Sonny won.
Little money, higher contributions
Another winning candidate, Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, did not receive any money from his father, former President and newly-elected Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada. But his mother, re-elected San Juan Mayor Guia Gomez, gave P20 million.
The only contributor that outdid Ejercito’s mother was an NGO called JV Para sa Bayan Movement Inc, which poured P43.69 million into his campaign.
This is where the contributions become curious.
In the latest financial statement filed by Pacific Royal with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), it shows that the Enrile-owned company had a net income of P81.84 million in 2011.
When election season rolled in by 2012, however, it could afford to contribute P135.96 million to Jack Enrile’s campaign – an amount that could put the company in the red.
Meanwhile, JV Ejercito’s biggest contributor – the JV Para sa Bayan Movement Inc – was incorporated only on December 13, 2012, or 5 months before this year’s midterm elections.
While the non-stock non-governmental organization reported to SEC a capital of only P90,000, it contributed P43.69 million to Ejercito’s campaign.
Its incorporation papers say the NGO aims to “uplift the lives and standard of the Filipino youth through education and employment.” It also seeks “to raise funds in support of other associations, NGO, government or any other persons which espouse the upliftment of the Filipino youth through education and employment.”
Its listed office address is in San Juan City. – Aries Rufo, Reynaldo Santos Jr, Michael Joseph Bueza/Rappler.com