All candidates for President should make a voluntary public disclosure of their preelection campaign contributions and donations to preclude electoral abuses, according to Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo (Liberal Party, Second District).
In a statement on Monday, Castelo, chairman of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development, also sought public disclosure of the candidates’ campaign donors to avoid certain vested interests controlling the political campaign of any presidential candidacy.
“There has to be transparency, accountability and integrity in every presidential candidacy,” Castelo said, adding that the public disclosure has to be explained even before the official political campaign starts.
He made the proposal as he noticed elaborate preparations on mere announcements of candidacies of certain presidential bets.
Preparations and expenditures prior to the political campaign are not included under existing election laws.
Their television and radio political advertisements, sorties and tarpaulins appear quite expensive even as the official political campaign is yet to start in January next year, Castelo said.
In the absence of any law on the precampaign expenditures, their voluntary public disclosure has to be made by the presidential candidates themselves to avoid public suspicion that they are under the control of their campaign financiers.
While certain campaign contributors include those people from big business, Castelo noted that big-time campaign donors could include unsavory characters such as drug lords, leaders of smuggling rings and influence peddlers.
“The huge amount of campaign contributions could mean corruption, as contributors take control of the winning presidential candidate,” Castelo said.
“Quid pro quo would definitely characterize their contributions,” he added.