Duterte tells finance managers: Don’t get cash from people with gov’t contracts
DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Mayor Rodrigo Duterte has advised his campaign and finance managers to be discerning about contributors to his presidential bid and not accept funds from people or groups doing business with the government.
Duterte, who said he did not have the amount of money his rivals have raised, said accepting campaign funds from people and companies with interests in government projects and contracts would compromise his independence in decision-making as President.
“I will not accept money and contributions from people and groups who have transactions with government because I will have to pay them back with favors when I become President,” Duterte told a gathering of campaign leaders and supporters here.
He said he was publicly “instructing my campaign finance committee members to ensure that campaign contributions would only come from people of group with no vested interests.”
“If I compromise myself, I’d rather not be President. I don’t want to have a debt of gratitude. The Presidency is not mine to give away,” Duterte added.
At the same time, Duterte bared wealthy individuals have offered him financial assistance but he had to reject them as they were known to have dealings with government.
“I don’t want to reveal their names but I have just refused contributions from five people, just recently,” he said.
Duterte said in his 23 years as a politician, he never accepted money from people with vested interests.
He said in 2013, when he ran as mayor, three major companies sent him campaign funds but he had returned the money because they had business with the government.
Duterte had dilly-dallied in his decision to run for president and among the reasons he cited was that some people only wanted him to run so they could get something in return.
He admitted that running a presidential campaign has been expensive but he stressed he would like to be remain free of any debt to people with vested interests.
Duterte was reported to have spent the least since deciding to run late last year. His personal friends were said to have pitched in P120 million for the cost of his TV ads. SFM
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