PRESIDENT REPORTS POLL EXPENSES OF P333.36 MILLION
MANILA, JUNE 26, 2004 (MANILA TIMES) PRESIDENT Arroyo on Friday submitted to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) her statement of expenditures in the May 10 election in compliance with the law.
The President spent a total of P333.36 million in electoral expenses for the entire duration of the campaign, way below the P425-million limit set by the Comelec.
Of the amount, P180.746 million came from the administrationís Lakas-CMD coffers and P152.613 million came from contributions of her supporters and sympathizers.
Part of the presidential campaign expenses were P15.269 million for airtime of campaign ads; P10.871 million for salaries of personnel used in the campaign; P8.623 million in transportation allowances; P5.014 million for hotel and production cost; and P4.457 million for representation expenses.
Under the Omnibus Election Code, all local and national candidates must submit their election expenses before they could assume office.
Comelec Commissioner Resurrecion Borra had warned that candidates who failed to submit their statements of expenditures are liable under the law even if they have already been proclaimed.
The Presidentís reported expenditures and contributions were within the P10-per-registered-voter expenses allowed by Comelec Resolution 7213.
Meanwhile two prominent election lawyers on Friday also advised defeated opposition presidential candidate Fernando Poe Jr. not to file any more electoral protests against the President and accept defeat gracefully.
Lawyers Sixto Brillantes and Romeo Macalintal said that filing a protest before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal would require a lot of money, effort and time.
Brillantes cited as an example the case of Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, who filed a protest against former President Fidel Ramos in 1992 that did not prosper because only P8 million out of the P15 million needed for the retrieval of ballot boxes nationwide was deposited.
The two lawyers said that it would be better for Poe to wait for the 2010 presidential election.
--William B. Depasupil
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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