‘Nothing wrong with Duterte’s P3-M excess campaign funds in SALN’
There is nothing unusual with the declaration of President Duterte that he included in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net worth (SALN) the excess contributions he received during his 2016 presidential bid, according to the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said they do not see anything irregular in Duterte owning the more than P3 million excess campaign contributions.
“Without evidence or allegation to the contrary, we presume regularity,” said Jimenez.
He cited provisions of Comelec Resolution No. 9991 or the Omnibus Rules and Regulations Governing Campaign Finance and Disclosure as allowing such actions.
Rule 5, Section 5 of Resolution 9991, Jimenez said, states that “any unexpended balance from any contribution to candidate or party, also known as excess contributions, shall be subject to income tax”.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Regulation No. 7-2011, meanwhile, provides that excess campaign contributions shall be considered as subject to income tax and should therefore be included in the candidate’s taxable income as stated in his/her Income Tax Return filed for the said taxable year.
President Duterte on Saturday said that the P3-million increase in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) came from excess campaign contributions during last year’s elections.
“That’s surplus money that does not have a purpose anymore. I don’t know who gave it to me. This is just a small amount. I declared that as income. Income because it was already there in my hands,” Mr. Duterte told reporters in a doorstop interview in Hong Kong.
His statement came after the Office of the Ombudsman released his latest SALN, which showed that his net worth has increased to P27,428,862.44 in December 2016, compared to just P24,080,094.04 in June last year.
“That’s an excess income. Look at the returns, it’s all there even the SALN. I paid … income tax,” he added.
Mr. Duterte also joked that the P3-million hike in his SALN came from a certain “Vanessa” whom he said was his lover.