Top spenders in Cebu province’s electoral race: Gwen, Ace, and Duke
CEBU CITY, Philippines – At least three candidates in vote-rich Cebu province have spent more than P1 million during the recently concluded May 2022 Local Elections.
Based on the initial Statements of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCEs) filed before the Commission on Elections in Cebu (Comelec-Cebu), reelected Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, Cebu 5th District Representative Vincent ‘Duke’ Frasco, and gubernatorial aspirant and former Tourism Secretary Joseph Felix Mari ‘Ace’ Durano were the top spenders.
Garcia shelled out a total of P1.65 million for her bid to be reelected in the Capitol for a fifth term.
However, this is roughly P3 million lower compared to the P4.5 million she spent during the 2019 Midterm Elections when she faced then-Vice Governor Agnes Magpale in her plans then to return to the provincial government.
Garcia’s challenger, Durano, a member of one of Cebu’s most influential families, also spent more than P1 million in vying for the province’s most powerful position. Durano’s expenses, according to the SOCE he submitted to Comelec-Cebu, amounted to a total of P1.38 million.
Garcia defeated Durano with a landslide vote totaling 1.4 million. The latter only gained close to 400,000 votes during last May 9’s elections.
Another top spender in Cebu’s rich and vibrant electoral scene is reelected Congressman Frasco, Garcia’s son-in-law.
Frasco spent a total of P1.03 million in his bid to get a second term in the House of Representatives, representing Cebu’s 5th District. His opponent was Durano’s brother, and former Cebu 5th District Rep. Ramon ‘Red’ Durano VI.
Deadline for the filing of Statements of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCEs) is at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 8.
As of 12 noon, Comelec-Cebu has so far received SOCEs from 30 out of the 51 local bets who vied for a total of 23 seats at the Capitol and Congress.
Reelected Vice Governor Hilario ‘Junjun’ Davide III was the first to submit his SOCE. He filed his documents on May 23.
Davide only spent P287,886.08 in his bid for the vice gubernatorial post against his challenger, Dr. Tess Heyrosa, who is Garcia’s running mate.
Heyrosa has yet to file her SOCE as of 12 noon on Wednesday.
In Cebu’s congressional race, neophyte politician Rhea Gullas came in second, next to Frasco, with the highest expenses posted.
Gullas, the wife of reelected Talisay City Mayor Gerald Anthony ‘Samsam’ Gullas, spent a total of P743,774.64.
She initially filed her candidacy to run as mayor in their family’s bailiwick, with Samsam planning to make a comeback in Congress. But they decided to swap roles later on.
Other big spenders in Congress included reelectionists 3rd District Rep. Pablo John Garcia and 4th District Rep. Janice Salimbangon.
Pablo John and Salimbangon spent a total of P683,186.22 and P370,519.74 respectively. Pablo John was the former Secretary-General of 1Cebu, which remains the province’s largest and most influential political party.
Neophyte politician, incoming Cebu 6th District Rep. Daphne Lagon, shelled out P172,326.50.
On the other hand, reelected Rep. Peter John Calderon of Cebu’s 7th District spent the least when he disclosed in his SOCE that his election-related expenses only amounted to a total of P62,526.41.
Gullas, Pablo John, and Calderon ran uncontested in their respective positions.
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