MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte recently said Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos helped fund his presidential bid, with Marcos even borrowing money to fuel his campaign.
Duterte's Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE), however, does not list Marcos among his contributors.
It is unclear how this applies to winning candidates, such as Duterte, who have already taken their oaths of office.
Candidates who fail to file their SOCEs also face penalties ranging from P1,000 to P30,000 ($20.58 to $617.60).
The SOCE is a way for the Comelec monitor if a candidate overspent during the campaign, and for watchdogs to identify the donors to whom a candidate might be indebted once in office.
Duterte brought up Marcos' name as his contributor during his speech before Luzon local officials, among others, at the Dusit Thani Hotel on October 4.
Duterte spoke in the context of his rise to the presidency, from being a simple city mayor. He said hardly anyone supported him at first.
Duterte: 'Imee supported me'
"Sino sa inyo ang nagsuporta sa akin? Ilan lang? 4, 5, 6? Wala akong barangay captain, wala akong congressman, wala akong pera. Si Imee pa ang nagbigay. Sabi niya inutang daw niya," the President said.
(Who among you supported me? How many? 4, 5, 6? I didn't have a barangay captain, I didn't have a congressman, I didn't have money. It was Imee who donated. She said she borrowed money for it.)
"Imee supported me," Duterte said.
Based on his SOCE, Duterte's top contributors include his running mate Senator Alan Peter Cayetano and Davao del Norte 2nd District Representative Antonio Floirendo Jr.
Rappler, as of posting time, is still trying to reach Marcos for confirmation of Duterte's remarks. Rappler is also trying to reach Duterte's lawyers during the campaign period for an explanation of his SOCE.
The Ilocos Norte governor's brother, former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr, earlier ran for vice president, but lost to Leni Robredo.
Marcos was the running mate of the late Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, who placed 5th in the presidential race.
In his speech on October 4, Duterte said he "cannot really dissociate" himself from the Marcoses because his father, Vicente, was Marcos' Cabinet member.
His father "was one of the two who stood by Marcos in his darkest hours," Duterte said.
Duterte, as President, has repeatedly shown his affinity with the Marcoses.
Duterte earlier declined to give Robredo a Cabinet post because he did not want "to hurt the feelings of Bongbong Marcos."
He is also pushing for the burial of the Marcos patriarch, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes' Cemetery).
Now in Duterte's hands, as well, is the fate of chief public attorney Persida Acosta, whom Governor Marcos is reportedly endorsing as Supreme Court justice. – Rappler.com
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Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.