Senate hopeful Belgica's challenge to opponents

While the poll body said it will be "relaxed" in implementing campaign finance reporting rules, a senatorial bet is challenging his fellow candidates to bare the sources of campaign funds.

Former Manila City Councilor and now Senate aspirant Greco Belgica said other candidates should prove they are not using government resources for their election campaign.

"Hinahamon po namin ang lahat ng kandidato para senador na ilabas kung saan nila kinukuha ang ginagastos nilang pangkampanya (We are challenging all candidates for senator to reveal the sources of their campaign finances)," Belgica told Yahoo! Southeast Asia.

"Baka ginagamit niyo na po ang inyong pork barrel... o intelligence fund ng gobyerno (Maybe you are already using pork barrel or state intelligence funds)," he added.

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The candidate running under the Democratic Party of the Philippines noted that public funds owned by the Filipino people should not be used for private gain.

"Kung gagamitin niyo lang din po sa pangangampanya, ibalik niyo na lang po sa tao para may pera silang kapital at panghanapbuhay (If you will be using it for you campaign, you might as well give it back to the people who can use it as capital)," Belgica noted.

He added that even the list of campaign donations candidates receive should be made public, noting that voters should know who bankrolled their candidacy.

"[Dapat] alam ng taong bayan sino ang nasa likod ninyo at sino ang proprotektahan ninyo kapag kayo ay nanalo (The public should know who has your back and who you will be protecting should you get elected)," Belgica said.

This, as he floated the possibility that candidates could be receiving funds from government contractors or even "drug lords and jueteng lords."

"Wag na nating ipilit na wala pa namang freedom of information bill (Let's not assert the absence of a freedom of information bill)," Belgica said.

"For the sake of delicadeza, let's initiate," he added.

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Comelec rules, Belgica said, are not enough to assure the public that campaigns are legitimately funded.

"Una nadodoktor ang report (Reports can be manipulated in the first place)," he said.

"Pangalawa, ano pa ang magagawa natin kung tapos na ang halalan? Dapat ngayon (Second, what will we do with after-the-fact reports? It should be revealed now)," Belgica added.

The former Manila City councilor said that he will also subject himself to the same challenge to stress the need to "raise the bar for public service."

For his part, Belgica noted that his campaign funds are pooled from his business' profit and donations from family and friends.

"Kapag wala naman po akong pamasahe o pang-gasolina, nandun po ako nangangamay sa University Belt dahil malapit po 'yan sa bahay ko (When I don't have money for fare or gas, you will find me shaking people's hands at the University Belt which is near my home)," Belgica said.


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