VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Duterte either made a false claim or admitted to election offense in Jerusalem

Read this fact check in Filipino

President Rodrigo Duterte either made a false claim to Israeli investors or admitted to an election offense when he said Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade funded his candidacy.

STATEMENT

In Jerusalem Sept. 4, during the signing of agreements with private investors, Duterte introduced members of his cabinet, including Tugade who he said “has billions” and “financed” his candidacy:

“He doesn’t have to steal. He has billions. He even financed my candidacy.”

Source: Presidential Communications Operations Office, Speech of President Rodrigo Duterte during the signing of the agreements with the private sector in Israel, Sept. 4, 2018, watch from 43:23-43:28

FACT

Documents obtained by VERA Files the months following the 2016 presidential elections show Duterte and his Partido Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) party listed 183 campaign donors in their Statements of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE).

Tugade’s name appears in neither list.

The SOCE discloses all expenses incurred by a candidate, a list of his or her funders and what they contributed during the campaign period Feb. 9 to May 7.

The Omnibus Election Code requires candidates to file a “full, true and itemized” SOCE 30 days after election day.

Nondisclosure of donors is tantamount to an election offense, the Commission on Elections Campaign Finance Office earlier told VERA Files.

Candidates and political parties found violating the law could face penalties ranging from fines to jail time and disqualification from holding public office.

The SOCE Duterte and PDP-Laban filed show their biggest donor to be Antonio Floirendo Jr. who contributed a total P100 million, P75 million directly to the president and P25 million to his party.

Floirendo hails from a family who owns the country’s biggest banana exporting business and some real estate holdings.

Tugade, a lawyer and trucking and shipping entrepreneur, was Duterte’s schoolmate at the San Beda College.

He was chief executive officer of the state-owned Clark Development Corp. before his appointment as transport secretary in 2016.

Previously, Duterte had also quipped Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos funded his campaign.

Marcos’ name also does not appear in either the SOCE Duterte or PDP-Laban; she has denied the claim, saying it was just another “joke” from the president. See VERA Files Fact Check: Did Imee fund Duterte’s campaign?

Sources:

Presidential Communications Operations Office, Speech of President Rodrigo Duterte during the signing of the agreements with the private sector in Israel, Jerusalem, Sept. 4, 2018

Statement of Contributions and Expenditures, Rodrigo Duterte

Statement of Contributions and Expenditures, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban)

(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative and our methodology.)


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