• 90 donors plunk down P795M for May poll bets

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    The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) on Friday revealed that 90 of the 2,368 donors from both senators and political parties in the May 2013 elections had contributed over P795 million, or 47.1 percent of the total P1.7-billion spent in the election.

    Ed Lingao, PCIJ multimedia director presenting the report, said that only 17.8 percent of the donors gave between P1 million and P5 million—that added up to P671 million, or 39.7 percent of the total donations.

    Lingao said that 78.4 percent of the donors are from the common people who chipped in about P223.9 million, or 13.2 percent of the total donations.

    Commissioner Christian Robert Lim, reacting to the PCIJ findings said that “the danger [in the PCIJ findings]is that the high rollers are the people who would dictate the national policies.”

    PCIJ define high rollers as elite who contributed multimillions in the May 2013 elections.

    “And to what interest? Is it their interests or of the general public? Mahirap,” Lim said.

    The PCIJ also found out firms banned for donating in the elections have contributed multimillions to some senators.

    Based on the PCIJ report, at least P75 million was donated by officers of the mining companies who are supposedly banned by the Comelec under the Omnibus Election Code.

    Also, P62.5 million was donated by some individuals in the public transportation services and airline and bus companies.

    Lim admitted that the election may also be controlled by private interests.

    Because of these findings, the Commission on Elections admitted that they would now focus on the amendments of the Omnibus Election Code to tighten on the campaign finance law.

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