Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte refused to directly name his top campaign contributor when asked during the last televised presidential debate hosted by ABS-CBN.
When asked by Karen Davila, the host for PiliPinas Debates 2016: Ang Huling Harapan, the tough-taking presidential candidate did not specify who funds his campaign and just playfully answered: “Nasa bukid, ma’am.”
When asked to give a specific name, the often macho-depicted Mayor baulked and said: “Emilio Aguinaldo.”
This isn’t the first time Duterte was asked to name his campaign contributor especially after the other presidential candidates have been linked to prominent, albeit at times controversial businessmen and casted doubt on each of their candidacies.
Previously, Duterte said that an unnamed Chinese man paid for his advertisements released before the official campaign period.
"May nagbayad niyan na Chinese sa initial ads ko," Duterte told reporters before meeting the members of the Joint Manning Group in Diamond Hotel last March 10.
He said that he does not know who exactly it is since he does not personally talk to his campaign donors. "Hindi ako nakikiusap sa mga donor. I do not talk to them," he said.
In a report by Malou Mangahas of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism released March 9, Duterte’s pre-campaign ad expenses already amounted to P146,351,131. He declared a net worth of P21,971,733 and cash on hand/in bank of P13,846,733 based on the 2014 statements of assets, liabilities, and net worth (SALN). The difference between the ad spending and his declared wealth will put him on a deficit spending of P124,379,398.
Duterte, who is known to use expletives when he speaks, cursed when asked about his own personal spending during the March 10 interview.
"Pera ko mismo? 'T*** i**. Iyong pang-retire ko gagastusin ko sana, saan ako kukuha ng pang-hospital?" he said.
Duterte, however, clarified that he will not accept donations just from anyone so as not to compromise his government.
"I will not accept donations from people, corporations, or from companies that are doing business with government or may transaksyon sa gobyerno," he said.