Only 394 donors bankrolled senators’ 2019 run
By Cherry Salazar
Of the more than 60 million registered voters in the 2019 elections, only 394 individuals funded the campaigns of elected senators, with their contributions averaging at P2.9 million each.
Political neophyte Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, who was the biggest spender in the race with P161.4 million in total expenditures, also had the most number of contributors.
According to his Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE) filed before the Commission on Elections (Comelec), 93 individuals bankrolled his campaign with contributions ranging from P1,000 to P14.89 million. Most of them were Filipino-Chinese and families.
Among Go’s top contributors were Johnny Ng (P14.89 million) and Belinda Liu (P14.4 million), who donated both in cash and in kind — the latter in the form of “social media boosting”.
Meanwhile, political party Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino fully financed Sen. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara’s bid with P153.34 million worth of “various campaign expenses”. The only other winning candidate to receive contributions from his party was Sen. Ramon Bong Revilla, Jr., with P92.99 million in TV commercials from the Lakas Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD).
Among individual donors, Sen. Francis Tolentino’s mother, Elena, shelled out the most with P42 million for her son’s campaign. Tolentino identified only four donors in his SOCE, three of whom were family members whose total contributions accounted for 78 percent (P87.9 million) of his campaign kitty (P112.9 million).
Re-electionist Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa received a whopping P40.26 million from De Carlo Uy, president of Davao Metro Shuttle Corporation. This amount was divided into P15 million in cash donation and P25.26 million in TV ads, and it covered almost half of Dela Rosa’s total campaign expenditures. Uy ranks second among top individual donors in the 2019 senatorial elections.
There was only one among all 394 campaign donors who plunked down money to more than one candidate: Anthony Jude Violago, president of San Lorenzo Ruiz Builders Group, whose private pocket benefitted Sens. Nancy Binay, Maria Imelda Josefa “Imee” Marcos, and Revilla. Violago donated P5 million to the campaign of each of these senators.
Only Sen. Cynthia Villar received no contribution for her 2019 run. Villar, wife of business tycoon and former politician Manuel or “Manny”, personally financed her entire campaign.
Explore the donor data in Datatalk.