Manila Mayor Isko Moreno surprised netizens after revealing he pocketed the P50 million in excess campaign funds he declared in the 2016 senatorial elections.
According to his Statement of Contributions and Expenses, he failed to win a Senate seat but received the largest contributions for campaigning amounted to P171 million, P50 million of which weren’t utilized.
Moreno said he violated nothing by keeping the said amount in an interview with GMA news anchor Jessica Soho.
“As long as nagbabayad ka ng buwis,” he said. The presidential aspirant further revealed that he declared the amount as income and paid the P9.7 million tax.
“‘Yon ang sinasabi ng BIR. Kasi hawak mo ang pera. E limited ang gastusin mo sa kampanya, sumobra ang donation mo. So kailangan mo magbayad ng buwis at ‘yon ay lumalabas na income mo,” he added.
Prior to failing at becoming a senator, Moreno’s net worth was nowhere near P50 million. Based on his 2007 SALN, his net worth was only around P7.5 million. It improved to P12.9 million in 2014 and reached P70 million in 2021.
Citizens couldn’t believe that Moreno admitted to pocketing campaign funds, which many of them say was completely unacceptable.
Oh emmm… Isko Moreno just publicly admitted that he pocketed 50M worth of campaign donations. Ginawa mong income talaga? 🤦♂️ #JessicaSohoInterviews
— Norman Tubera (@NormanIsJay) January 22, 2022
Isko moreno pocketed 50M from the campaign funds pooled for his senate bid last 2016?! Krazyyyy! May kita kaya ulit ngayon? 🤔🤔🤔
— Ear Bundalian (@ebundalian) January 22, 2022
There’s seriously something morally wrong about that 50M campaign donations Isko considers as income.
— Credence (@michaerio) January 22, 2022
Now that he’s running for president, Moreno can only expect a bigger contribution given his reputation. Some say Moreno is only in it for the money.
Isko Moreno had 50M+ left from donations to his failed senatorial campaign and kept it as his personal income. Could this be why he is running for president? #LeniRobredo2022.
— hermit crab (@tormisian) January 22, 2022
I mean bAKET NAMAN BINULSA NI ISKO YUNG 50M SHUTA KUNG SI LENI YON ANG DAMI NANG NAKINABANG THROUGH HER PROJECTS 🥲🥲🥲🥲 #AngatBuhayLahat
— ris, otrp 🎀 (@joycevlnc) January 22, 2022
Regardless of whether he wins, Moreno will only come out a wealthier man after the elections have concluded.
Dahil sa sagot ni Isko about 50M na sobrang campaign funds na naging income, baka kaya siya tumatakbo ulit kahit malaki chance matalo kasi makakakuha ulit ng sobrang campaign funds. So panalo pa rin siya kahit matalo siya. Trapo talaga. #JessicaSohoInterview
— Shandy Lucinario #LetLeniLead (@marieshandy) January 22, 2022
Isko, paambon naman ng 50M na naging instant income mo lol. Magbayad nalang din ako ng tax.
— josef (@josefmrb) January 22, 2022
NG TUMAKBONG MAYOR SI ISKO, MAY KABUUANG 171M SYANG CAMPAIGN DONATIONS AT MAY SAVINGS NA SYA NA 50M,
LAKI PALA KITAAN PAG TUMATAKBO.
— Storymaker (@Moneyma78808638) January 22, 2022
wow yung excess 50M na donation kay isko binulsa nya, considered as his income. sana ol #jessicasohointerviews
— wulf (@wulfff11) January 22, 2022
ISKO earning 50M during his campaign is peak comedy! The fucking audacity to be so proud about keeping it. wtf 🤣🤣#JessicaSohoInterviews
— mari⁷ PROOF (@mari_pjmlove) January 22, 2022
Election rules state that candidates will violate nothing when pocketing campaign funds as long as they pay the taxes.
Pres. Rodrigo Duterte also said that he kept the P3.5 million in excess campaign funds in 2016.
“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,” Duterte had said during a visit to Hong Kong.
His SALN in 2016 grew from P24 million to P27 million because of the amount he kept. However, it is common for candidates not even to declare the correct amount of contributions they receive.