Duterte: Excess campaign funds boosted 2016 income

May 14, 2017 - 6:44 AM
Pres. Rodrigo Duterte checks the time before deplaning on his arrival in Beijing. (Malacanang photo)

HONG KONG — President Rodrigo Duterte attributed the increase in his 2016 income to excess contributions to his campaign in last year’s elections.

Sobra ‘yan du’n sa dumating na wala ng purpose na pera. Tapos ‘di ko na malaman kung sinu-sino [nagbigay] (It’s excess funds that do not have a purpose anymore. And I no longer know who gave it),” he told reporters in an interview after meeting members of the Filipino community in Hong Kong on Saturday.

Duterte’s 2016 Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth showed his net worth increase by around P3 million in the last six months of 2016 — to P27.43 million from P24.08 million as of end-June.

This was mainly to the increase of “cash on hand” to P18.45 million as of end-December from P15.31 million at the end of the first half of the year.

Duterte said he declared the funds as income because he had the money with him but stressed that he paid income tax for this.

Rule 10 of the Omnibus Rules on Campaign Finance requires candidates and parties to file their Statement of Contributions and Expenditures “not later than five days after the conduct of the elections.”

Regulations also require candidates to either return the money or pay taxes.

Meanwhile, Duterte said he is willing to appoint more members of the dance group Mocha Girls to government after naming its leader, Margaux “Mocha” Uson, assistant secretary of the Presidential Communication Operations Office.

“Not all but kung gusto nila magtrabaho (if they want to work). There’s nothing wrong working for government,” he said.

He added that the positions to be assigned to them will be based on their qualifications.