MANILA, Philippines – Even failed presidential bids are costly, and candidates who lost the most important race of the land still raked in substantial contributions from wealthy contributors, mostly businessmen and politicians.
Rappler combed through the statements of contributions and expenditures (SOCEs) of candidates whom President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. bested in the 2022 elections to check who bankrolled and sustained the aspirants’ campaigns until the very end.
Former vice president Leni Robredo, who ranked second in the presidential race, received P388 million in contributions. Among all candidates, she had the most number of donors who chipped in at least P1 million each (a total of 115 people).
Former senator Serge Osmeña is her top campaign contributor, donating P20 million in cash. Osmeña initially backed then-Manila mayor Isko Moreno for the 2022 presidential election, but withdrew his support in favor of Robredo after Moreno said he would not allow the International Criminal Court to prosecute then-outgoing president Rodrigo Duterte.
Lawyer and 2013 top taxpayer Vibenditho Pinga donated P15 million to the Robredo campaign, while four other people donated P10 million each. They include:
- Mark Bernal, an advertising and brand management executive
- Ramon del Rosario Jr., president of PHINMA Corporation, a Filipino conglomerate with businesses in education, construction materials, property development, and hospitality
- Geraldine Desiderio-Garcia, senior vice president of Country Bankers Insurance Group
Seaoil Foundation executive director Victorio Joseph Lorenzo contributed P7.5 million, while 108 other people donated cash ranging from P1 million to P5 million.
The million-peso donations, when combined, account for 85% of total contributions received by Robredo. The rest are cash donations worth less than P1 million.
Compared to Robredo whose list of contributors filled 17 pages of her SOCE, Moreno only had two pages.
His top donor is a certain Andrea O. Chua, who chipped in P50 million. A certain Allan Berenguer also donated P20 million to the Moreno campaign.
Other top donors include:
- Baiverth Diabo, former Apex Mining Co. president, and current president of the DIACA Group, a group that has businesses in construction, property development, retail, food, and logistics, among others
- Noli Igano, president of construction firm Salug Valley Enterprises and Development Corp.
- Winley dela Fuente, lead convenor of the Visayas for Isko Sara Alliance
- Adolfo Escalona, former executive director of Road Board
- Mining magnate Francis Enrico Gutierrez, who donated P40 million to the failed 2016 presidential bid of former senator Mar Roxas
Overall, Moreno received P241 million in contributions, but finished a disappointing fourth place in the race.
Former senator Panfilo Lacson had a rocky campaign, with his political vehicle Partido Reporma dropping him midway through the season. But he had said friends and anti-corruption advocates helped him get to the finish line.
Sixteen of Lacson’s 27 contributors made multiple donations to his campaign, like former Sinacaban, Misamis Occidental mayor Crisinciano Mahilac, who donated seven times to Lacson from February 9 to April 28. His cash and in-kind contributions totaled P65 million.
Other notable donors include businessman John Gaisano Jr., Antipolo 2nd District Representative Romeo Acop, and former Bureau of Internal Revenue commissioner Kim Jacinto-Henares.
Overall Lacson’s received donations amounted to over P160 million.
World-famous boxer and former senator Manny Pacquiao, who shelled out the most personal money among the candidates, received fewer contributions than previously mentioned candidates, totaling P56 million.
His SOCE only has two listed donors: construction firm Archinet International Incorporated (P46 million), and business magnate Buddy Zamora, who was also his campaign manager (P10 million).
Leody de Guzman
Labor leader Leody de Guzman’s only donor was his political party, Partido Lakas ng Masa. He received P1 million in contributions.