President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III demonstrated unitary, exemplary conduct by filing his election expense reports within the first deadline of June 9, 2010, or a month after the May 10, 2010 elections.

Even better, in the Statement of Election Contributions and Expenditures (SECE), Aquino reported that he had raised a total of P440,050,000 in campaign contributions but incurred only P403,119,981.81 in campaign expenditures. This left Aquino P36,930,011 or nearly P37 million in excess campaign funds.

But his initial honesty remained just that. Since then, the President has not followed it up with a full disclosure of what he did with the money, and nothing more may have been said about it had PCIJ not popped the question to the president in a first letter last Jun. 15.

The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), in Revenue Regulation No. 7-2011 dated Feb. 16, 2011 had ruled that excess campaign funds should be recorded as the candidate’s income during the election year, and thus, subject to income tax.

Citing the BIR regulation as basis, recently appointed Comelec Commissioner Christian Robert S. Lim, in response to PCIJ’s queries about Aquino’s excess campaign funds, wrote in an email: “Aside from paying the correct income tax, candidates with excess campaign funds must declare the same in their ITR (income tax return). For the 2010 May elections, candidates who fail to declare in their ITR of 2010, the deadline of which was 15 April 2011, they can be held liable for tax evasion and/or falsification of their ITR. However, the agency primarily tasked with the prosecution of this offense is the BIR and the Department of Justice.”

The President’s spokesperson, Edwin Lacierda, told the PCIJ that P14 million of the excess campaign funds had been returned to three donors who gave substantial contributions.

One of the three — former Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Fulgencio Factoran Jr. — to whom P10 million was supposedly returned told the PCIJ that he had been told about what was just a plan to return the money.

This second and last part of the PCIJ’s report on the unsettled campaign-finance issues of the May 2010 elections comes with a Sidebar on the President’s rapid rise to affluence in the last 12 months. The situation has been traced to the substantial wealth that Aquino had inherited from his mother, former President Corazon C. Aquino, who died on Aug. 1, 2009,

But the PCIJ’s review of the President’s statement of assets, liabilities and net worth for 2010 yield no proof that he had reported his excess campaign donations in his income tax return for 2010. This was affirmed by BIR Comissioner Kim Jacinto-Henares.

1 Response to PNoy’s P37-M excess campaign
funds: Curious, puzzling details


Principles of Corruption: Proven Ways to Steal Millions | An Ciudad han Tacloban

July 15th, 2012 at 1:50 am

[…] in the long and heated discussion, I asked his take on President Noynoy Aquino’s P37-M excess campaign funds (source: PCIJ Blog) which he failed to declare. I was surprised that for him, it did not matter. […]

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