OUTGOING Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña spent close to P2 million in the midterm elections last May 13, 2019, while his rival, incoming mayor Edgardo Labella spent just about half that, at close to P1 million.
The figures were based on their Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (Soce).
Osmeña and Labella were among 43 candidates of the 53 candidates in the city who ran in last month’s polls and submitted their Soce.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) set the deadline for the submission of Soce last Thursday, June 13.
Osmeña’s total expenditures were P1,805,076.42. These were personal funds.
Labella received P1,017,604.58 in contributions, but he spent only a total of P904,225.46.
Apart from Osmeña and Labella, all other winning candidates in the city submitted their Soce.
Vice mayor-elect Michael Rama reported P946,472.96 in expenditures. Some P375,000 was contributed, while P571,472.96 came out of his own pocket.
The Soce of Councilor Mary Ann de los Santos, who ran for vice mayor, showed that she spent a total of P138,391.62 of her own money.
Chauncey Boholst, election officer in Cebu City north district, said a candidate belonging to a political group is allowed to spend P3 per voter, while independent candidates can spend P5 per voter.
Cebu City has 709,608 registered voters; 384,031 in the south district and 325,577 in the north district.
All the 18 councilors in the two districts also submitted their Soce.
In the cities of Mandaue and Lapu-Lapu, 16 candidates who ran for different positions failed to submit their Soce.
Under the law, all candidates and electoral parties must submit their “full, true and itemized” Soce within 30 days after elections.
The Comelec said winning candidates who fail to do so will not be allowed to assume office. The office will be considered vacant pursuant to Section 11 of the Ombudsman Election Code until the elected candidate complies and submits a Soce within six months from the proclamation, according to Comelec Resolution 10505.
A candidate who spent too much during the campaign, exceeding the amount set by the law, will also face penalties, including disqualification from public office.
Four of the 28 candidates in Mandaue City and 12 of the 57 candidates in Lapu-Lapu City have yet to submit their Soce.
Those who did said they used their own money and did not accept any donations.
Incoming Mandaue City mayor Jonas Cortes said he spent P674,300, excluding legal fees. His rival, outgoing Mayor Luigi Quisumbing, said he spent P380,498.
Vice mayor-elect Glenn Bercede spent P192,032.10, while outgoing Vice Mayor Carlo Fortuna spent P218,793.18.
In Lapu-Lapu City, mayor-elect Junard Chan spent P297,871, while vice mayor-elect Celsi Sito spent only P75,000.
Chan’s opponent Arturo Radaza spent P550,550, while Radaza’s running mate and nephew Harry Don Radaza spent P390,844.39.
Outgoing Mayor Paz Radaza spent P519,189.91 in her campaign for the city’s lone district seat in the House of Representatives, which she won.
The Comelec extended its deadline of the filing of Soce to 8 p.m. last Thursday.
Mandaue City Election Officer Edwin Cadungog said they will still accept Soces on Friday, June 14, and Saturday, June 15 as his office will endorse the Soces to the central office on Tuesday, June 18, yet.
The Soce submitted on Friday and Saturday will be labeled late, he said.
In Lapu-Lapu City, those who failed to meet the submission deadline will have to submit their Soce to the central office, said election aide Erlin Godoy.
In Cebu Province, eight of the 48 candidates who ran for elective posts failed to submit their Soce.
Five candidates, though, waited until the last day to file their Soce: reelected Provincial Board members Raul Bacaltos (P102,617.60) and Miguel Antonio Magpale (86,403.87); Nelson Garcia (P59,336.32), who failed in his bid to become congressman of the seventh district; outgoing Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale (P1.215 million); and third district congressman-elect Pablo John Garcia (P1.092 million).
Magpale said that of the amount she spent, P800,000 was contributed by her brothers Joselito and Ruben Almendras (P400,000 each). Pablo John said he did not receive any contribution.
Cebu governor-elect Gwen Garcia emerged as having spent the most on her campaign. Based on her Soce, all of the outgoing third district representative’s expenditures of P4,518,926.56 came from her own pocket.
The money went to the printing and distribution of campaign materials, among others. Her travel expenses reached P278,794.80, while she spent P122,000 on advertisements on TV, radio, the newspaper and the internet. She spent P11,434 on communication. (RVC & FMD, SCG of SuperBalita Cebu, KAL)