Isko Moreno denies using campaign donations to buy P50-million mansion
MANILA, Philippines — Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso on Wednesday denied he used excess campaign contributions he received for his losing senatorial run in 2016 to buy a P50-million mansion.
“We kept it properly. I am responsible with money, with God’s mercy,” the Aksyon Demokratiko standard-bearer said on dzBB radio. “Mansion? Oh no, there’s no such thing.”
But the 47-year-old mayor did not give details on where the money went.
“There was extra money left, so I asked the [proper] government agency, what I am supposed to do with the excess? I was told I should pay taxes, so I followed that as a citizen,” said Domagoso, who said earlier that net worth amounted to about P70 million.
Willing to release SALN
While Domagoso said he was open to releasing his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN), he also left the matter to the Ombudsman, which has been restricting public access to the document.
Last month, Domagoso admitted in a GMA 7 interview that he kept some P50.55 million in unspent donations in 2016. Domagoso insisted there was nothing wrong with that under the law.
“Because it is [money pooled from] different people, you have to declare. Once it’s with you, you need to pay the taxes, which I did,” he said.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) agreed with Domagoso, saying there was no rule requiring a candidate to return excess donations.
“The only rule that there is can be found in revenue regulations issued by the [Bureau of Internal Revenue], which states very clearly that unspent campaign funds shall be treated as income and shall be subject to the payment of the appropriate income tax,” Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said.
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