‘Sacks of cash’ meant Duterte would raise funds for PDP-Laban bets, says Palace

Palace: 'Sacks' of cash? Duterte meant he would raise funds for PDP-Laban bets

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte meant to raise funds from private individuals when he said he would bring “sacks” of cash to support candidates of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), Malacañang clarified Monday.

During the ruling party’s national assembly over the weekend, Duterte promised to campaign for the PDP-Laban bets and even bring them “sacks of money”.

“Of course he knows it’s illegal to use public funds for partisan purposes. But there is no prohibition in the Omnibus Election Code to raise funds from private individuals for the candidacies of individuals. That is what the president meant,” presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a press briefing when sought to clarify the President’s statement.

“It’s an assurance to his partymates that not only will he physically campaign for them, he will also raise funds for them. And that’s not prohibited by the Constitution or the Omnibus Election Code. Unfortunately, democracy can be very expensive,” he added.

A lawmaker has questioned where the President would source the “sacks” of cash he would use to campaign for PDP-Laban bets.

Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Zarate denounced Duterte’s remarks, saying the government has claimed not having funds to give financial aid to Filipinos amid the coronavirus pandemic.